What is the definition of Lymphocytic Colitis?
Lymphocytic colitis is form of microscopic colitis, a condition that is characterized by inflammation of the colon (large intestines). As the name suggests, microscopic colitis can only be diagnosed by examining a small sample of colon tissue under a microscope. In lymphocytic colitis, specifically, the tissues and lining of the colon are of normal thickness, but an increase in the number of lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell) is observed. Signs and symptoms of the condition may include chronic, watery diarrhea; abdominal pain, cramping, and bloating; weight loss; nausea; dehydration; and/or fecal incontinence. The underlying cause of lymphocytic colitis is currently unknown; however, scientists suspect that autoimmune conditions, medications, infections, genetic factors, and/or bile acid malabsorption may contribute to the development of the condition. Treatment is based on the signs and symptoms present in each person and may include certain medications, dietary modifications, and in rare cases, surgery.