Causes of Spastic Colon
Causes of spastic colon can be difficult to pinpoint. A spastic colon is also known as spastic colitis, mucous colitis and most commonly, Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS. IBS falls into three different categories depending upon the symptoms. There is IBS with constipation (IBS-C), IBS with diarrhea (IBS-D) and IBS that alternates between the two extremes (IBS-A). While most people are familiar with IBS-D as the most common form of Irritable Bowel Syndrome, it’s also common for sufferers to deal with the other types as well.
Any pain in the colon area (upper left part of your abdomen), abdominal cramping, or noticeable changes in bowel habits should be investigated by your doctor if they persist. Colon spasms can cause diarrhea and cramping. This can be considered a functional condition as it periodically flares up and then returns to normal. It’s important to be professionally diagnosed with spastic colon or IBS and not try to diagnose yourself.
If the colon is not functioning properly, it can be debilitating. You could find yourself unable to fulfill commitments due to being in the bathroom with diarrhea or constipation, or experiencing abdominal cramping that strikes at any time.
Your doctor may perform a series of tests (such as an endoscopy, colonoscopy, x-ray, barium enema, stool sample, hydrogen breath, and blood assays) to rule out other GI disorders and determine the causes of spastic colon in your situation. Other diseases or conditions can be present and they can range from being easily treatable to extremely serious. If your doctor determines you suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome or spastic colon, you can manage this condition in many ways to help minimize its impact on your daily life.
Commons Causes of Spastic Colon
Common causes of spastic colon are believed to be related to the muscles and nerve endings controlling the functions of your large intestines. Your digestive nerves and muscles occupy extensive areas of your body so it can be difficult to determine the exact cause of the spasms.
Because your nerves are controlled by your brain, emotional stress can be the culprit behind bouts of IBS with diarrhea. This is because stress can cause your colon to contract or spasm, thereby causing diarrhea or loose stools and abdominal cramping.
Another theory states poor digestion and dietary habits can cause irregular activity of the colon including spasms. Poor eating habits and lack of exercise can aggravate your body’s ability to digest food and then produce regular bowel movements. The result could be either constipation or diarrhea could be accompanied by excessive gas pains. Processed foods and refined sugars aggravate IBS because of their poor absorption factors. Our bodies are not designed for these types of manufactured foods and they can react by either slowing down or causing fast dumping of the food. More people today than ever suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome and today’s fast food diet is at least partially to blame. The average modern meal contains high amounts of fat, which is not absorbed well by your digestive system and this can be one of the causes of spastic colon or IBS.
Treating Spastic Colon
People may find a specific substance causes a negative reaction in their digestive system. For example, eating spicy foods can cause diarrhea or heartburn accompanied with bloating. Stress can have you literally running to the bathroom to have a bowel movement. From a treatment perspective, because definite causes of spastic colon occupy such a gray area, there really is no cure. You may be asked to keep a diary of your symptoms, diet, and daily activities. You should also list noticeable feelings of stress and whether or not they result in a sense of urgency to visit the bathroom. Finding ways to pinpoint your unique triggers and then proactively manage them to reduce the causes of spastic colon can dramatically affect how often you must deal with IBS-related symptoms.
If you find yourself having bouts of IBS with diarrhea when you become extremely upset or apprehensive, your doctor may suggest finding ways to deal with your stress and anxiety either through some form of counseling. Spastic colon or IBS sufferers have discovered many successful alternative therapies, such as yoga, medication, and therapeutic heat, for dealing with stress.
If you find that food seems to be a major factor in either IBS-D or IBS-C, your doctor will likely suggest you avoid those offending foods or at least make sure you maintain adequate fiber and hydration. For abdominal pain, anti-inflammatory medication may be prescribed.
Many support groups exist online to help you through your illness. A large portion of the population lives with digestive disorders and the experience and advice of others can help you find ways to cope with IBS. Learning the triggers that are causes of spastic colon can help you proactively manage your condition by avoiding certain foods, consuming extra fiber, and exercising. Each of these common-sense tools can assist you in making this condition more manageable so you can also maintain a sense of regularity in your life.