A gastroenterologist comments on microscopic colitis and one of its associated symptoms, joint pain.

Symptom lists for microscopic colitis sometimes include “joint pain,” though the pain may feel more like an ache or dull discomfort.

This inflammatory bowel disease is infamous for its signature explosive diarrhea.

But that’s not all it causes.

A small percentage of patients experience enteropathic arthralgia.

Diarrhea + Joint Pain in Microscopic Colitis

Are these chemical messengers, or their precursor, COX 2, somehow involved in the arthralgia that’s associated with microscopic colitis?

“Aching joints can be a symptom of microscopic colitis, but not necessarily,” says Jeffrey Fine, MD, chief of gastroenterology at the Medical Surgical Clinic of Irving.

“Many patients with aching joints don’t have microscopic colitis, but aching joints and gut problems often go hand-in-hand.

“They’re both associated with inflammation, and many doctors speculate that cyclo-oxygenase (COX 2) or prostaglandins are involved because of the function they provide.

“Prostaglandins are chemicals that generally cause inflammation of our joints.”

Many people with MC report that a specific diet has helped manage or even eliminate symptoms. It stands to reason that an anti-inflammatory diet would be of great value.

A pro-inflammatory diet promotes body-wide inflammation. To minimize this, do whatever you can to eliminate processed foods. That’s the biggest thing you can do to reduce systemic inflammation.

So if you want chicken, potatoes and broccoli for dinner, buy these items in whole, fresh form, and cook and season at home. Do not buy the frozen dinner version.

Dr. Fine has been in practice for over 30 years and specializes in digestive health, integrative medicine and food sensitivities.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and 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.