The World’s 1st Microscopic Colitis Awareness Week!

12th April 2021

Guts UK is proud to organise the World’s 1st Microscopic Colitis Awareness Week. Raising awareness of microscopic colitis is so important, as there are simply too many people living undiagnosed in the UK. This week (and all year round!) we’re calling for greater awareness of this misunderstood and neglected disease.

What is microscopic colitis & what symptoms should I look out for?

Microscopic colitis is an inflammatory disease of the bowel. It is more likely to affect women, and people are most often diagnosed between the ages of 50-70. Microscopic colitis can only be diagnosed by taking a biopsy (small sample of tissue) whilst having a colonoscopy, as the inflammation can’t be seen by the camera during a colonoscopy. But this isn’t something that happens during every colonoscopy. The symptoms include:

  • Watery diarrhoea
  • Waking during the night to empty the bowel
  • Incontinence episodes
  • Urgency to use the toilet
  • Frequent need to empty the bowel

Why are thousands of people in the UK living undiagnosed?

  1. To diagnose microscopic colitis, a biopsy must be taken whilst having a colonoscopy. This isn’t always done during a colonoscopy.
  2. People are often misdiagnosed with IBS-D (IBS with diarrhoea) because the symptoms can cross-over.
  3. There’s a lack of awareness of microscopic colitis, amongst the public but also amongst healthcare professionals.

Too many people spend years suffering with chronic diarrhoea. So many people routinely plan their work and social lives around access to lavatories, even carrying incontinence packs with them. People assume this is just ‘part of their life’. It shouldn’t be that way, especially as there is an effective treatment (steroids such as budesonide) available for people with microscopic colitis. All people need is the diagnosis.

HOW CAN I HELP?

  • Donate: Help the UK get to grips with guts by donating today.
  • Tell a friend: 1 in 4 people experience digestive symptoms at any one time. Tell a friend about Guts UK, raise the banner in your community or workplace – you never know who might benefit!
  • Share far & wide: Scroll to the bottom of this article to share on Facebook, Twitter, Linked-In or via email.
  • Fundraise for us: Run, cycle, walk, dance, quiz – the possibilities are endless, but whatever challenge you want to set yourself, please do it for Guts UK.

Support for this campaign has been provided by  Dr Falk Pharma UK Ltd.

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