A colon stricture is a narrowing of the passageway of the colon. As a result, waste cannot move properly through the digestive tract and becomes obstructed in front of the stricture. The area of the colon following the stricture may ultimately collapse while the area preceding it begins to enlarge from the accumulated waste. The term “stricture” may be used to describe the natural process of the colon becoming narrow; or it may refer to the portion of the colon that is narrowed.
Causes of Strictures
Colon strictures may be caused by a variety of factors including:
- Tumors blocking waste elimination
- Hernias occurring when a portion of the intestine protrudes into another part of the body and then becomes trapped
- Intestinal adhesions (bands of fibrous tissue), either congenital or developing after surgery
- Colon twisting, referred to as volvulus
- Diverticulitis—a condition characterized by bulging pouches called diverticula that become infected or inflamed
- Impacted waste
- Foreign bodies in the colon, such as from swallowing indigestible objects
While each of these conditions can lead to colon narrowing, it is possible to simply possess a portion of the colon narrower than usual. In the truest sense, this anatomical anomaly is a colon stricture. Medically speaking, a narrowing of the colon due to a condition or illness is a bowel obstruction, though the two terms are sometimes used interchangeably.
Treating Colon Strictures
Treatment of the stricture depends upon the underlying cause and the effect it’s having on the digestive process. If the stricture is caused by a tumor, for example, surgery may be necessary to remove the tumor. If the stricture is caused by impacted waste, dietary changes may be sufficient to get things moving again. Otherwise, it may be beneficial to try colon cleansing. Surgery may also be required to remove foreign objects or to correct a twisted colon, a hernia, or Diverticulitis. Intestinal adhesions and a naturally occurring colon stricture may also be corrected by surgery such as endoscopy.
Even if a colon stricture is fairly minor in scope and the person can still move waste through the digestive system, it’s important to monitor the condition to ensure it isn’t causing internal injuries. Otherwise, serious damage may occur if one portion of the colon collapses and another portion is distended by the waste accumulating. Of course, if the colon stricture is caused by a serious condition such as cancer, the underlying cause must be treated first to prevent further damage to the colon or other parts of the body.
If colon strictures are caused by a build-up of fecal matter, it is beneficial to implement a high fiber diet immediately. By following a high-fiber diet, waste can be removed from the body with greater ease and this can help prevent impaction from occurring. Fiber is essential for maintaining a healthy colon, as well as an effective way of relieving constipation.
Occasionally flushing the colon with a specialized organic supplement or receiving a colonic can help cleanse the digestive system and prevent the impaction from becoming too difficult to remove. Enemas may also provide temporary benefit, but enemas do not cleanse the entire digestive system and they can be physiologically addictive since the colon can become unable to function without their chemical intervention. Therefore, it is best to consider an all-natural supplement that just helps your digestive system function on its own as it should.
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