While some people with microscopic colitis have it chronically “all the time,” is it possible that a lucky few might get a flare only once in their entire life?
For this article on whether or not microscopic colitis is a recurring problem or can you get it only once in your life, I consulted with John E. Pandolfino, MD, Director of the Esophageal Center, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, and Associate Professor, Division of Gastroenterology at Northwestern University.
I was inspired to cover this topic because I had microscopic colitis in 2010 and it resolved within eight weeks.
I registered with a microscopic colitis online community and posted that my doctor (not Dr. Pandolfino) told me that microscopic colitis usually resolves in a few weeks.
One of the community members said this was laughable, and that it’s a chronic condition.
This reminds me of a pamphlet I read on plantar fasciitis, a painful heel condition.
The pamphlet said once PF gets to the point where you need custom-made orthotics, it will be a chronic condition.
Some months after getting my orthotics, the PF was completely gone and has never returned. That was years ago!
My point here is that it may seem that a condition, such as microscopic colitis, is necessarily chronic — that once you get it, you’ll get it again if it goes away — and again and again, back and forth throughout your life …
… or, you’ll have it continuously – because allegedly, there is no such thing as having a singular bout of microscopic colitis.
So, according to that premise, I’m going to get microscopic colitis again. I haven’t had a hint of it since 2010, when it was preceded by a horrendously stressful event in my life.
Dr. Pandolfino explains, “The natural history of MC is quite variable and depends on the type of MC — lymphocytic or collagenous. The lymphocytic type is associated with a better outcome and can resolve — although it may return.”
Very interesting, because my type, indeed, was lymphocytic.
Dr. Pandolfino continues, “The collagenous variant is less likely to resolve, but still has a favorable outcome. Certainly, avoiding the inciting cause — such as a particular medicine (e.g., NSAIDs), will help the disease to resolve, and it is also possible that some patients will have a chronic problem that may require maintenance treatment.”