People suffering from microscopic colitis, including lymphocytic and collagenous colitis, should follow a soft food or liquid diet until symptoms improve, according to Mayo Clinic. Drinking plenty of water or beverages with electrolytes such as potassium and sodium helps relieve the condition. Soft foods such as rice, applesauce and bananas are easier to digest.
Chronic diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea, weight loss and incontinence are common symptoms of both lymphocytic and collagenous colitis, states Mayo Clinic. Symptoms may come and go, steadily persist, or even disappear on their own. Patients requiring treatment may start by spacing several small meals throughout the day rather than eating fewer large meals.
Patients should avoid spicy, fried and high-fat foods that can make symptoms worse, notes Mayo Clinic. High-fiber foods such as beans, vegetables and nuts should be limited or reduced until the condition improves and then slowly added back into the regular diet. Beverages that contain alcohol or high amounts of sugar or caffeine, including coffee, tea and soda, can aggravate the condition.
In addition to diet, a doctor may recommend anti-diarrhea medication, bile-block acids, anti-inflammatory medicines or steroids, explains Mayo Clinic. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to remove part or all of the colon. Such cases are rare, and other potential causes are ruled out before considering surgery.