Ann’s Story – Microscopic Colitis

The relief of the right diagnosis – microscopic colitis

Ann is 67 and remembers having problems with her bowels from her 20s on wards, having many investigations, scopes and barium meals to find out what was wrong. She was given a diagnosis of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and though she tried various medications, nothing much helped. Ann was aware some foods seemed to exacerbate symptoms but came to the conclusion that “This is just me. I have to put up with it.”

More recently in life, Ann was at the GP for something completely unrelated to her digestion when a conversation about how many times a day she went to the loo came up. The GP said “No, this isn’t right” and referred Ann to a gastroenterologist again. Ann had more tests and a scope where a biopsy (small sample) was taken and she was asked to keep a diary.

“It was writing it all down, every time I went to the loo each day and during the night that made me realise, “ says Ann. “ I was going 6 or 7 times a day, once 11 times. This had become my ‘normal’ over all these years but wasn’t right. There had to be a reason.”

A stomach ulcer was found but the biopsy taken revealed microscopic colitis, a condition that can not be seen by a scope alone and can only be found putting a biopsy under a microscope.

There is a treatment for microscopic colitis. “My life changed overnight,” says Ann. “I take just twice a week now and if I have a flare up, the drug sorts it out. I can regulate levels myself.”

“It has totally changed my day to day living. Not having to get up in the night to go to the loo. I had got to the stage of faecal incontinence, having little accidents so this urgency issue meant I didn’t leave the house without knowing where the nearest loo would be. I carried on and coped, but I can see now the impact it all had on my quality of life.”

“It’s been like a wonder drug for me, and I can’t thank the NHS enough,” says a delighted Ann.

For more information on Microscopic Colitis please click here.