What Is A Spastic Colon?
Spastic Colon is a common disorder of abdominal cramping, pain, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation. It's also commonly referred to as Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS. The spastic part of this condition refers to the spontaneous contractions of the muscles in the large and small intestines, or spasms.
One in five Americans are diagnosed with this medical condition.
Gassy and Bloated Feeling
Painful Bowel Movements
Mucus in Bowel Movements
The underlying cause of spastic colon is unknown. Researchers have concluded that sufferers have an abnormal communication between their brain, the intestinal nerves, and the digestive muscles. Although this doesn't cause any permanent harm to the intestines themselves, the underlying cause of the abnormal communication is still not currently known.
If you have a spastic colon your intestines are particularly sensitive to the follow:
Caffeinated drinks (coffee, tea, soda)
Eating Large Meals
Foods made with wheat, barley, milk, or chocolate products
Before your doctor diagnoses you with spastic colon or IBS they will run tests to rule out other possible underlying causes for your symptoms. These most common tests are:
Hemoccult Test – This checks the amount of blood in the stool.
Colonoscopy – This is a medical procedure where a doctor will insert a flexible, thin tube with a camera on the tip into the large intestine. This will allow your doctor to physically see an abnormalities in the intestines.
Flexible Sigmoidoscopy – This is similar to a colonoscopy procedure, however it differs in that the doctor will be checking the rectum and lower intestine.
Barium Enema X-Ray – This test involves giving you barium enema and then taking an X-Ray of the colon. The white substance will show up on the colon in areas where abnormalities exist.
In addition to these medical procedures your doctor will ensure the following:
You've had abdominal pain for at least three months.
The abdominal pain is relieved by having a bowel movement.
Changes in appearance, consistency, and how often you have these bowel movements are affected by your abdominal pain.
If a doctor concludes you fall into the criteria listed above and that all their medical procedures come back negative they will diagnose you with spastic colon.
Although this can be a very uncomfortable condition, this is not life-threatening. Most people are successfully able to control your symptoms with diet, managing stress, or taking prescription medications.
Adding a good amount of fiber to your everyday diet can help reduce the symptoms of IBS. These include whole-grains like breads, fruits, beans, cereals, and vegetables. It's also recommended to avoid large means that can irritate your symptoms, rather go for eating several small meals throughout the day.
Avoid drinks that have high levels of caffeine and alcohol. Dairy products are a known agitator of this condition, so avoiding foods like cheese and milk is a great idea.
Keeping your stress levels to a minimum can easily be achieved by counseling and relaxation techniques.
It's likely your doctor may prescribe you fiber supplements. When constipation is typical they will provide you with occasional laxatives. Other medications may be prescribed in specific cases for diarrhea and controlling the muscles in the intestines.
Colon Cleansing Agents
One of the best ways you can help your colon function better is by taking a colon cleansing agent. There are many out there on the market. Bowtrol is one that we highly recommend because it contains many health probiotics.