Find out what a G.I. doctor has to say about intermittent fasting and microscopic colitis.

Can intermittent fasting help relieve the symptom of diarrhea in microscopic colitis?

“At present, we do not know enough about microscopic colitis as a whole or about the specific effects intermittent fasting may have on it,” says Jeffrey Fine, MD, chief of gastroenterology at the Medical Surgical Clinic of Irving.

“However, diet can have a profound effect on the gastrointestinal tract and the body as a whole.

“If you have microscopic colitis or are concerned that you might have it, discuss it with your doctor.

“He or she can advise you on the best diet for you, given your condition, family history, fitness levels and other factors.”

What Is Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent fasting is a popular weight loss approach. It involves extended periods of avoidance of eating at regular intervals, hence the name “intermittent.”

It is NOT the same as the so-called caloric restriction that’s been touted as a way to maximize life span.

In caloric restriction, you can easily be eating every two hours, but the total daily caloric intake is considerably reduced.

Microscopic Colitis or … Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

The only way to be diagnosed with MC is to have undergone a colonoscopy so that tissue samples can be taken from your colon and examined under a microscope.

IBS should not be given as a diagnosis until microscopic colitis has been ruled out, since the symptoms of these two conditions are very similar.

Shutterstock/Bannasak Krodkeaw

But the treatments, however, are different. That’s why a proper diagnosis is crucial for management and treatment to be effective.

Though there’s no studies supporting the application of intermittent fasting on the symptoms of microscopic colitis, it’s important that the patient determine which foods seem to trigger the diarrhea, and then work on eliminating or at least cutting back on those foods.

Dr. Fine has been in practice for over 25 years and specializes in digestive health, integrative medicine and food sensitivities.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and personal/cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.