Dealing With a Painful Colon
The colon is part of the digestive system. It is approximately six feet long and comprises of the large intestines, the rectum and the anus. Its function is to absorb minerals from digested food and to absorb water. It is also were feces are formed as well as where they are gotten rid of. A healthy colon is crucial to normal functioning of the human body. A painful colon is something no one wants as it can cause many problems and embarressment if it gets severe enough.
A painful colon is usually a symptom of a problem somewhere in the body system. Finding the cause and eliminating it, should be a priority. Causes of a painful colon may be wide and varied but narrowing them down will help in the treatment and hopeful cure. Some of the causes of a painful colon include:
Gas in the digestive tract – Excess gas in the colon may cause pain.
Constipation – This simply refers to bowel movements that are difficult to pass or are infrequent. Constipation is quite common and has many different causes. The causes range from lack of fiber in the diet to the more severe cancer of the colon. It may also be caused by withholding bowel movements for a long period of time. Constipation is merely a symptom so treatment will require a diagnosis of the underlying cause.
Spastic colon or Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) – A symptom of IBS is constipation. However, other symptoms will include a painful colon. IBS is not caused by anything specific and is treated my managing the symptoms.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) - Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis and the two diseases that are collectively known as Inflammatory Bowel Disease. IBD is frequently confused with IBS even though they do not refer to the same thing. This is mainly because the two disorders have a number of similar symptoms. In IBD, the intestines become inflamed many times causing a painful colon. The main difference between Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis is that Crohn’s disease affects not only the colon but also other parts of the gastrointestinal tract. Ulcerative colitis is limited to the colon. The causes of both these diseases are unknown. The severity of symptoms of both will fluctuate due to the degree of inflammation in the digestive tract.
Anal disorders – These will include hemorrhoids (both internal and external), anal fistulas, anal fissures and perianal abscesses. These disorders may cause discomfort in the colon. Once cause of anal fissures and hemorrhoids is constipation.
Colorectal cancer – This is cancer in the rectum or the colon and is called colon cancer in short. Symptoms of colon cancer vary depending on the exact location of the cancer but may include a painful colon. Some of the symptoms of colon cancer are diarrhea, constipation, rectal bleeding which may cause anemia.
A painful colon is a symptom that needs to be investigated. A quick and proper diagnosis of the cause is required in order to effectively treat it. Though the symptoms are usely of somehthing less dire, early diagnosis of a disease like colon cancer greatly increases the chances for recovery and cure.