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Colon Spasms

Colon Spasms

Colon is a subdivided part of the large intestine. The cramping of this part gives rise to colon spasms. Find the symptoms, causes and treatments for colon spasms in this article.
Gaurav Shimpi
Last Updated: Mar 1, 2018
What are Colon Spasms?
Human Intestines
Colon spasms, also referred to as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), are painful contractions of the muscle of the lower digestive system. The lower abdomen and the area below the right and left rib cage, are common places where the pain is experienced.
Symptoms
  • Colon spasms are basically characterized by continuous abdominal pain, constipation, bloating, diarrhea, etc.
  • The symptoms may vary according to individuals, and they may also worsen due to the menstrual cycle, excessive indulgence in fried foods and excess stress.
  • A person may also experience the feeling of vomiting or nausea.
  • There is irregular and infrequent bowel movement.
  • Difficulty in emptying the bowels, characterized by hard stools, is another symptom.
  • There is a feeling of not being able to empty the bowel completely.
  • A feeling like gas is trapped inside and not being able to pass it, stomach cramps and mucus in stools, are some other commonly observed symptoms.
Testing
In order to diagnose colon spasms, the doctor will test your blood and stool samples. He may also conduct further tests like virtual colonoscopy and colon biopsy.
Causes
  • The causes of colon spasms or spastic colons are not yet known. Irritable bowel syndrome can be a prime cause of colon spasms.
  • Though, the causes of IBS have not been detected either, urinary tract infections are sometimes said to be the main cause.
  • Over-sensitivity of the colon or large intestine to certain specific foods, is also said to be responsible for causing irritable bowel syndrome.
  • However, some studies suggest that it is an immune reaction, or is caused due to an undetected infection.
  • Certain studies have also linked anxiety and depression to it. Excessive indulgence in fried food may be one of the causes too.
Treatment
Though currently there are no treatment options available to cure this condition completely, there are many types of treatments available for reducing and relieving the symptoms. Antidepressants, anticholinergic medicines, antibiotics, and fiber supplements may be recommended.
Home Remedies
  • Make sure you get enough sleep everyday (minimum seven to eight hours).
  • A deficiency of sleep will aggravate your situation.
  • Do not stress over things. Try deep breathing, meditating or anything that relaxes your mind, and keeps it free from stress and anxiety.
  • If your symptom is constipation, try laxatives. If your symptom is diarrhea, you could use the same medicines you take for diarrhea otherwise.
  • Place a hot water bag or a hot pad over your abdomen. This will help in reducing cramps.
  • If the home remedies don't help, consult a doctor.
Dietary Changes
Water
Apart from medications, some important dietary changes can go a long way in treating it effectively. Water is the key. Drink plenty of water, especially if your symptom is diarrhea. Loose motions dehydrate you. Water will prevent dehydration.
Maintaining a Healthy Diet
  • A high-fiber diet can help in regulating the bowel movements.
  • Increase the consumption of whole grains, B6 rich food and vegetables like spinach, carrot, beans, peas, etc., and fruits.
  • Whole wheat cereals and breads are very rich in folic acid.
  • Folic acid is excellent for a healthy colon.
  • Leafy vegetables like spinach have a high content of magnesium.
  • Magnesium improves the health of the digestive system. Consuming some fiber supplements are also beneficial.
  • Probiotics and yogurt may also be suggested.
  • Drinking buttermilk and eating yogurt in appropriate quantity during meals, is good for digestion.
  • Peppermint oil is a well-known muscle relaxant. It is very beneficial in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome.
Soothe the Pain
Chamomile and ginger can help effectively. Chamomile soothes intestinal contractions, while ginger is good for the stomach and also helps in reducing nausea and camps. Ginger tablets, ginger root and chews are also available in the market. You could also have valerian tea or chamomile and ginger tea.
Food that should be Avoided
Keep a check on the food items that aggravate your situation, and on those that better it.
  • Do not change your diet all of a sudden, as it might worsen your condition. A gradual change would be advisable.
  • Along with this, avoid spicy food, alcohol, caffeine, aerated drinks, sugar fats like chocolate, and other fatty food.
  • Also, avoid vegetables and fruits with skin, like figs, raisins, tomatoes, nuts, etc.
  • Food that are excessively high in protein, are very difficult to digest and hence should be excluded from the diet.
  • Onions, garlic, cabbage, broccoli, lentils, etc., should be ruled out, because they are gassy.
  • Limiting milk and milk products will also help.
A Positive Outlook
  • As colon spasms relate to stress and anxiety, it is necessary to have a positive outlook towards life.
  • Exercising regularly, acupuncture or practicing yoga, channelize your energy and also help you to stay calm and stress-free throughout the day.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.
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