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Prolapsed Colon

A prolapsed colon, also referred to as rectal prolapse, is characterized by the rectal lining protruding from the anus. The condition often occurs while having a bowel movement, due to excessive straining, though other causes exist. A prolapsed colon needs to be treated right away or chronic incontinence may develop.

What Causes A Prolapsed Colon?

Although prolapse typically develops during a bowel movement, that is not actually the cause. Rather, the muscles and ligaments attached to the colon become weakened.  Therefore, this tissue is more easily pushed out during a bowel movement.

The muscles and ligaments holding the colon may become weakened in many different ways. Diseases of the colon or of the surrounding tissue can cause these muscles to be weakened.  Furthermore, aging can make a person more susceptible to rectal prolapse.

Effects of Prolapse

In addition to increasing your chances of incontinence, prolapse can affect other organs besides the colon.  For example, the damaged colon may put pressure on the bladder, rectum, fallopian tubes, uterus, or prostate. Therefore, a prolapsed colon may cause a number of other negative health conditions, including:

  • Prostate trouble
  • Bladder problems
  • Back pain
  • A prolapsed or tilted uterus
  • Irregular menstrual cycles
  • Blocked fallopian tubes
  • Hemorrhoids

Treating Prolapse

In many cases, the prolapsed tissue can simply be pushed back inside the body. If this doesn’t work, surgery may be required. Depending on the procedure used, the surgery may require anywhere from two to seven days in the hospital. Traditional surgery results in a twelve-inch scar and six weeks of recuperation, while modern techniques necessitate just making four small incisions and perhaps half the time away from your regular schedule.

Preventing Prolapse

In order to prevent a prolapsed colon, you need to take proper care of your digestive system. If you have already experienced a prolapse requiring surgery, the doctor will secure it with a mesh patch and staples to help prevent it from occurring again.  Nonetheless, you still need to care for your colon to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

To properly care for your colon, you need to stay well hydrated. Your digestive system needs water to break down foods and to move waste out of your body.  You should drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day.

It is also important to follow a high fiber diet.  Fiber is derived from plant products such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.  The human body cannot digest fiber, so it absorbs water within the colon and bulks up bowel movements. Therefore, the stool becomes looser and bulkier, both of which factors allow it to be passed from the body more easily.

When increasing the amount of fiber in your diet, it is especially important to increase your liquid intake since the fiber is absorbing so much water. If you fail to drink more liquids, taking in more fiber can actually cause you to become constipated as your colon dries up.

Engaging in regular exercise helps prevent a prolapsed colon as well and helps the body move waste in quickly and efficiently.  The less work and stress your digestive system has to endure while processing waste, the less stretched out the muscles and ligaments become. As a result, they do not weaken as quickly.  By decreasing your chances of becoming constipated, you also decrease the likelihood you will need to push hard during a bowel movement. In turn, this lessens the likelihood you will develop a prolapsed colon.

In order to keep your colon clean and to help prevent constipation, it is also beneficial to occasionally cleanse it. You can perform a cleansing fast, take an enema or a colonic, or use organic supplements to help you cleanse your colon. A cleansing fast requires severely limiting the foods you eat.  Both enemas and colonics require you to insert devices in your anus for flushing out your digestive system, but enemas can cleanse only the first few inches of your digestive tract.  For these reasons, many people prefer to rely on all-natural supplements.

By caring for your colon to prevent constipation from occurring, you will likely decrease your chances of developing a prolapsed colon in the first place.  If you develop a prolapse and are unable to alleviate its symptoms alone, consult with a qualified physician to have it properly treated so further or lasting damage does not occur.

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