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Colitis, Collagenous

Abstract

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Synonyms of Colitis, Collagenous

  • Microscopic Colitis, Collagenous Type

Disorder Subdivisions

  • No subdivisions found.

General Discussion

Collagenous colitis is a rare digestive disorder that primarily affects females and typically becomes apparent during middle age. The disorder is characterized by inflammatory changes of the mucous membranes (mucosa) of the colon (colitis) and abnormal accumulation (excessive deposition) of the protein collagen beneath the surface (epithelial) layer of the mucosa (thickened subepithelial collagenous bands). The colon is the major portion of the large intestine. The medical literature often refers to collagenous colitis as a form of "microscopic colitis," since evidence of inflammation and other abnormalities may only be confirmed through microscopic (i.e., histologic) examination of multiple tissue samples.

Individuals with collagenous colitis typically experience episodes of chronic, watery, nonbloody diarrhea. In some instances, episodes may often occur at night (nocturnal diarrhea). Diarrheal episodes may be persistent or may occur at intervals (intermittent) over a period of weeks, months, or years. Other symptoms and findings that may occasionally be associated with such episodes include vague abdominal pain, abdominal swelling (distension), nausea, vomiting, and/or weight loss.

The exact cause of collagenous colitis is unknown. Possible immunological, environmental, genetic, and/or other factors are under investigation as potential causes of the disorder.

Organizations related to Colitis, Collagenous

(Please note that some of these organizations may provide information concerning certain conditions potentially associated with this disorder [e.g., colitis, chronic diarrhea, etc.].)

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