Symptoms Of Spastic Colon
Symptoms of Spastic Colon - A Closer Look
Around 70% of IBS or spastic colon sufferers are not seeking any medical attention for their symptoms. Asking help from health professionals on how to manage symptoms of spastic colon can spare one from experiencing the discomforts, anxieties, and social difficulties brought by this condition.
Spastic colon is another name for Inflammatory Bowel Disease. The three main symptoms of spastic colon are abdominal pain, abdominal cramping and bloating, which are sometimes accompanied by either diarrhea or constipation - or both. Although these three may appear mild, the associated uneasiness and embarrassment that these conditions bring may warrant a high amount of attention.
A closer look on the symptoms of spastic colon and the management of each of these can be of great assistance for those sufferers who belong to the seventy-percent of the total affected population who don’t seek medical attention.
Again, the three main symptoms of spastic colon are abdominal pain, bloating, and abdominal cramping occurring for at least 12 weeks, and are relapsing and remitting. Some people experience constipation, other diarrhea, the rest experience both bowel conditions intermittently.
Abdominal pain and bowel movement changes
Abdominal pain is one of the worst symptoms of spastic colon. Most spastic colon sufferers complain of a sharp pain that can only be relieved by bowel movement. Speaking of bowel movement, symptoms of changing bowel movements and stool appearance in spastic colon also occur over time, oftentimes - getting worse. The bowel movements occur more frequently and the stools become mucous-mixed.
“I go to the bathroom three to four times on a 'normal day'. On a bad day it can range between 14 to 18 times,” says one of the spastic colon sufferers sharing his sad predicament on the web. Because of this irregularity on their bowel movements, spastic colon sufferers are caught into a social glitch as they tend to avoid going out with people or eating out for fear of being embarrassed. Abdominal pain can be relieved by certain medications and by avoiding GI stimulants such as caffeine, alcohol, and fat.
Abdominal cramps are usually seen on women or teenagers having dysmenorrhea or painful menstruation. As in the case of spastic colon, both men and women can get abdominal cramps as this is caused by the hyperactive movements of the colon. Plus, women having their menstrual periods may experience the symptoms of spastic colon twice as much. Researchers say that reproductive hormones aggravate the symptoms. Colon spasms can be lessened through antispasmodic medications.
Bloating refers to the overstretching of the stomach because of gas accumulation. Spastic colon sufferers are oftentimes afraid to mingle with others simply because they know how embarrassing it is to excuse themselves frequently just to pass gas. Or, it could become worse when the gas just goes out involuntarily – this would definitely be a major cause of lowered self-esteem. Bloating can be exacerbated by eating gas-forming foods; so be sure to avoid too much potatoes and sweet yams.
Diarrhea, constipation or both
The main symptoms of spastic colon may be accompanied by either diarrhea or constipation. Unfortunately, for some people, it may manifest both, but at different times. Medications can improve symptoms of diarrhea. Eating a low fat diet helps in maintaining a normal bowel flow too. For constipation, increasing one’s fluid intake would be of great help. Do not eat too much fiber, as fiber increases the bulk of the stool, although this is helpful for constipation in normal persons, it may actually add insult to the injury in the case of spastic colon sufferers.
Take note of these symptoms as they are not associated with spastic colon, but perhaps, are more inclined to be associated with inflammation or sometimes, colon cancer: fever, bleeding, and severe, persistent pain.
In addition, take note too of these following substances or occurrences that may even worsen the symptoms of spastic colon: certain medicines, gastric irritants (wheat, barley, milk products, chocolate, alcohol, and caffeinated substances), large meals, stress and extreme emotional circumstances.
All gastrointestinal disturbances must be observed and assessed keenly to determine if these are symptoms of spastic colon or that of other colon-related diseases. Early identification of symptoms is immensely important for early management too. And by the way, spastic colon has no particular medical treatment. The symptoms of spastic colon may be alleviated by medicine, but the greatest factor in minimizing its attacks are healthy lifestyle, stress management and proper diet.