In gastroenterology, spastic colon is a functional bowel disorder that is evidence by changes in bowel habits and abdominal pain which are not associated with any abnormalities seen on routine clinical testing. Spastic colon should not be confused with inflammatory bowel disease which is a more severe medical condition.
Spastic colon is one of the main reasons why people go to their doctor. It is such a common problem that one out of every five adults in the United States has spastic colon. Spastic colon is something that women have twice as often as men. However, spastic colon is something most people do not like to talk about because the signs and symptoms of this disorder are considered to be embarrassing.
Spastic colon does not cause changes in bowel tissue, inflammation or increase your risk of colorectal cancer. In this way, spastic colon is unlike ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. They are the two most prevalent types of inflammatory bowel disease and are more serious intestinal diseases.
As mentioned at the beginning, spastic colon is a functional bowel disorder. It is a problem that affects your large intestine.
The exact cause of spastic colon is unknown. Some researchers believe that it results from changes in your nerves that control muscle contractions or sensation in your bowel. Other researchers believe spastic colon may be due to your central nervous system affecting your colon.
Since women get spastic colon twice as often as men, hormonal changes may play a role in the occurrence of this disorder. Also, women say that the signs and symptoms they experience get worse in and around their menstrual period.
There are other things that appear to be triggers of spastic colon. These include stress, certain foods like dairy products and other illnesses.
The signs and symptoms that are caused by spastic colon may vary greatly from person to person. These signs and symptoms are common to several other diseases. Some of the possible signs and symptoms that you may experience with spastic colon include:
- Mucus in your stool
- Abdominal cramping or pain
- Diarrhea and constipation, sometimes alternating between the two
- Feeling like you need to have a bowel movement after just having had one
- Feeling bloated.