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{There is some over-sharing below…you have been warned}

So, around the end of March I started having GI issues.  I attributed it to a bug that I may have caught travelling although no one else with me got sick.  After a week or so, the symptoms died down a bit and then returned with a vengeance.  I was having good days and bad days, but mostly bad.  I had to stay in very close proximity to a bathroom regardless of what I ate.  It got to the point recently where I just stopped eating during the day to avoid having trouble while driving or while at work.

About five weeks in I was pretty convinced I was going a bit nutty.  I’m a girl who likes her food.  No food = grumpy Julia.  My PCP ran some tests but nothing was found so I made an appointment with Gastroenterology.  After a visit that included a lengthy discussion of symptoms, they ordered an EGD and colonscopy.  Fun.  The visit was Friday and the procedure was set for Wed.

The procedure went just fine.  The prep was definitely the worst part.  Afterward, the doctor spoke with W and told him that everything looked normal and that there were no signs of ulcerative colitis or crohn’s disease.  All good things except that it still didn’t explain my symptoms.  He said they took a series of biopsies and would be in touch in a week with results.

To my surprise I got a call from the GI’s office on Thursday to give me results.  The nurse told me that the biopsy showed lymphocytic colitis.  Normally they want folks to try Pepto-Bismol tablets for 6 weeks to try to see if it alleviates symptoms, but because of a complication with another medication I am on they ended up prescribing a corticosteroid.  I didn’t get a lot of information via phone and was told to take the meds and follow-up in six weeks.  The office is clearly not yet familiar with the Julia way of processing by absorbing as much information as humanly possible about what is going on.

So, I have microscopic colitis.  It simply means that the colon looked normal, but under the microscope they are able to see inflammation.  It is considered an Inflammatory Bowel Disease and can be caused by a variety of things or it may be auto-immune.  I was thinking a bit about this overnight and started wondering about the odds.  So far I have collected the following:

Multiple Sclerosis – prevalence rate of 100 in 100,000 or 0.1% of the population*.

Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension – prevalence rate of 1 per 100,000 although that number increases to 20 in 100,000 or 0.02%** when you take into account that I am female and overweight.

Microscopic Colitis – prevalence rate of 100 per 100,000 or 0.1%***.

My conclusion?  I need to play the lottery.  I mean really, what are the odds?


* UpToDate Article: Epidemiology and clinical features of multiple sclerosis in adults

** Intracranial Hypertension Research Foundation

***GUT: An International Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology