6 Common Diseases and Disorders of the Colon

An Unhealthy Colon: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment. Information about the diseases and disorders of the large intestine or colon. The colon plays an important role in the digestive system, as it serves as the large intestine. One of the main functions of the colon includes removing water out of human waste (feces).

The colon is also responsible for storing waste and keeping a balance in water. It also absorbs some vitamins, including vitamin K. In order to maintain a healthy colon, it is important to eat well-balanced meals. A diet high in fiber can also help eliminate unwanted substances that clog the colon.

When the large intestine begins to malfunction, there are a handful of diseases and disorders to consider. Below you will find some of the most common concerns that affect the colon:

#1 Constipation

Constipation involves hard feces that become difficult to pass through the body. The condition is also known as irregularity. The worst cases are quite painful and can sometimes lead to a blocked bowel.

Some illnesses, food choices, and medications can cause constipation. Typical treatments include changes in diet and exercise. Laxatives are also commonly used as a form of treatment.

#2 Diarrhea

Diarrhea produces loose bowel movements that are generally “watery.” This condition may develop as a result of many different things. Common causes include eating too much fiber, food poisoning, stomach viruses, and dirty drinking water.

#3 Colon Cancer

When cancer grows in the colon, rectum, or appendix, it is often called colon cancer. This is the third highest form of cancer in the United States. It is also the second-leading cause of cancer deaths as well.

Eating a diet high in fiber and regular exercise can help avoid colon cancer. Regular screening for the cancer is also recommended.

#4 Colitis

When the colon becomes irritated – inflammation settles in. This is called colitis, which is a digestive disease that causes many different symptoms. Pain, fever, bleeding, colon ulcers, and a tender stomach are common signs of the disease. Colon tissue may become swollen and the surface of the colon can turn red. An X-ray of the large intestine will diagnose this problem.

#5 Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Irritable bowel syndrome can cause a painful stomach and changes in bowel habits. Bloating and pain in the lower abdomen are typical signs and symptoms of IBS. Discomfort when going to the bathroom is also common.

When diagnosed with this medical problem, avoiding or limiting certain foods and drinks can help. This may include red meat, dairy products, chocolate, coffee, alcohol, artificial sweeteners, and spicy foods.

#6 Crohn’s Disease

Crohn’s disease causes the gastrointestinal tract to become inflamed with pain. Crohn’s is a form of inflammatory bowel disease – also known as IBD.

The symptoms of this condition are different for each patient. Some of the most common complaints include diarrhea, weight loss, stomach pains, and bloody stools. The disease may even cause arthritis, rashes of the skin, and eye irritations.