Microscopic Colitis (MC) and Ulcerative colitis (UC), along with Crohn’s Disease, are all considered to be different types of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). This should not be confused, or used interchangeably, with Irritable Bowel Symptom (IBS). ((Although, it is often speculated that it is likely that many persons said to have IBS really have undiagnosed MC.))
MC can only be diagnosed histologically – which means by tissue study/examination under a microscope. Thus, there must be a colonoscopy performed -- with biopsy’s taken of colon wall -- to obtain specimens for this “histological diagnosis”. The sub-type of MC that a person has (either Lymphocytic or Collagenous) is also determined during this examination.
Although the IBDs are diagnosable, very little is known about their cause(s), and there are no defined and/or absolute management methods. This aspect is VERY frustrating for patients!!
MC is believed to be related in some way to an auto-immune disruption. How or Why ??? Is not known.
The profile of MC is: Female, over the age of 50 years. … However, males are not immune to MC, and MC is occasionally seen in children. I recently learned of a child less that 2 years of age being diagnosed with this condition.
The IBDs are often ‘thought to be’ relapsing remitting conditions.
The first line of treatment often tried are the so called 5-ASA drugs. The Asacol you are referring to is usually the first of 5-ASAs tried. There are 4 or 5 others. One may work for some, not for others. It is basically a trial and error type of adventure with these meds.
Entocort is the specific steroid also commonly used for treatment of MC … usually with much more success than the 5-ASA drugs.
There is a web-site that is specifically slanted toward people with MC. You might like to go there to read more. There you will find a lot of discussion on food intolerance’s, and specifically, non-celiac gluten sensitivity. The discussion there is mainly on dietary considerations that people have observed that they believe have helped them with mangement of their MC.