Colon is another term used for large intestine. Located in abdominal cavity, human colon is a large, long hollow tube like structure divided into several parts. Cecum is the first part of colon located in the right side, followed by ascending colon, transverse colon, descending sigmoid and rectum.
The medical term used for inflamed colon is colitis; it can develop in any part of colon. A variety of conditions can cause inflamed colon. Inflammation can be due to bacterial infection or chronic illnesses such as inflammatory bowel disease.
Discomfort and pain in abdomen, blood in stool, fever, chills, diarrhea etc are some of its symptoms.Treatment of inflamed colon depends on the underlying condition. The usual treatment consists of antibiotics, antispasmodic medicines. Home remedies and dietary alterations are also effective in relieving the symptoms.
What Causes Inflammation Of The Colon?
The most common causes of inflamed colon are as follows:
- Infection: There are several bacteria and viruses that may cause infection and inflammation of large intestine. Bacteria and viruses attack internal mucosa of the colon giving rise to several symptoms. Common bacteria that may cause inflammation are salmonella, E.coli, shigella, and campylobacter bacteria. Parasites such as giardia can also cause damage to internal walls of large intestine. These germs are transmitted by eating food and water contaminated with human feces.
- Inflammatory bowel disease: The two common diseases are ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Ulcerative colitis is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s own immune system is responsible for causing inflammatory changes in the colon. Abdominal cramps and blood in stool are two characteristic symptoms of this condition. Crohn’s disease can affect any part of gastrointestinal system including large intestine. Heredity and environmental factors are thought to be responsible for crohn’s disease. Young adults are the usual suffers. Both the conditions may have flare ups and remission.
- Antibiotic related: In normal colon there are large colonies of healthy bacteria. However, prolonged use of antibiotic for some other illness can disturb the flora. This may lead to growth of harmful bacteria in colon and associated inflammation. Clostridium difficile is one such organism which potentially grows in such condition leading to colitis.
- Frequent enema with chemicals can damage the internal lining of colon causing inflammation.
Symptoms Of Inflamed Colon
There are varied numbers of symptoms of inflamed colon. Symptoms also depend on the type of colitis.
- Pain and cramps in abdomen.
- Diarrhea occurring persistently.
- Urgency for bowel movement.
- Feels evacuation is incomplete and has to rush to washroom.
- Bleeding in stool
- Mucus in stool
- Loss of appetite
- Irregular menstruation
- Prolonged tiredness
Natural Treatment For Inflamed Colon
Definite treatment of inflamed bowels depends on the underlying cause. Besides treating symptoms patient may also need to give rest their bowels and maintain fluids in the body.
- Infections mostly viral will not require any antibiotics. This infection gets cured on its own after a period of time. Bacterial infection need to be treated with antibacterial medications, complemented with home remedies.
- In case of inflammatory bowel disease, anti-inflammatory medicines together with immune suppressant drugs are often used to treat the condition. In severe cases a part of large intestine may be need surgical removal.
- Dietary modifications play an important role in controlling IBD. Many people who are allergic to gluten have to eliminate foods that contain gluten as it aggravates ulcerative colitis. Low fat foods are useful as they delay recurrence. Person suffering from this disease should avoid meat, processed food, and too much of oily food.
- Certain herbs are useful to reduce symptoms of ulcerative colitis. Boswelia, Bromelain have natural anti inflammatory properties which are effective in reducing inflammation of the bowel in ulcerative colitis, and other IBD.