Overview

    The colon is part of the large intestine, which is part of the digestive tract. After food has been broken down in the stomach and absorbed in the small intestine , indigestible food matter is passed through the colon. The colon is responsible for absorbing any leftover water, salts, and vitamins from food matter and condensing it into fecal matter. The fecal matter is then passed from the sigmoid colon into the rectum , where it’s held before being excreted as waste.

    The colon is prone to inflammation and inflammatory disorders that can be triggered by:

    • diet
    • stress
    • lifestyle
    • medications

    When your colon is healthy, it will efficiently remove the waste your body no longer needs. However, when your colon is unhealthy, it can result in a variety of painful problems. The most common disorders of the colon are inflammatory bowel diseases such as:

    • ulcerative colitis , which causes pain in the sigmoid colon—the final part of the large intestine that leads to the rectum.
    • Crohn’s disease , which typically causes pain around the belly button or on the lower right side of the abdomen
    • diverticulitis , which causes sigmoid colon pain
    • irritable bowel syndrome , which most frequently causes pain in the lower left abdomen
    • colorectal cancer , which rarely causes abdominal pain

    Inflammatory bowel diseases are triggered or aggravated by a poor diet. In fact, up to 70 percent of the risk for colorectal cancer — the third most deadly form of cancer in the United States — can be prevented through lifestyle changes such as healthy eating.

    Reduce your intake of certain foods

    The first step in treating colon pain is to modify your diet to see if you can reduce inflammation and find relief. Certain foods contribute more to inflammation, including:

    • red meat
    • fried foods
    • refined sugar and processed carbohydrates
    • alcohol
    • coffee

    Adjust your lifestyle

    The second step in treating colon pain is to make other lifestyle changes, eliminating behaviors that adversely affect colon health, such as:

    • cigarette smoking
    • excessive sitting/sedentary work environment
    • lack of exercise

    Reconsider medications

    The third step is to review medications you take. If possible, stop using nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin and ibuprofen which can increase inflammation and affect the intestinal lining. Your doctor can recommend alternatives.

    Eat more fiber

    Dietary fiber speeds up the process of waste elimination, helping to cut down on constipation and inflammation. Without enough roughage to keep the bowel moving, stools can become hard and painful. With enough fiber, your colon reduces the strain and pressure it exerts on the abdomen and veins, reducing the risk of:

    • hernias
    • hemorrhoids
    • varicose veins
    • colon cancer
    • obesity
    • high blood pressure

    Some healthy sources of dietary fiber to consider introducing to your diet are:

    • bran
    • cereals
    • fruits
    • vegetables
    • nuts and seeds

    Drink more water

    Dehydration can contribute to hard, painful stools and slow, blocked bowel movements. The National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine recommend drinking at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day to maintain proper hydration.

    Get more exercise

    A high-stress or sedentary lifestyle can aggravate the colon, so it’s important to find ways to relax and take time to let your body get the exercise it needs to stay functioning properly. A 2009 study found that regular exercise can reduce the risk of diverticulitis in men by up to 37 percent.

    Surgery

    In extreme cases, surgery is an option for relieving colon pain.

    Remember that anything you eat has an impact on your body. Eating the typical western diet rich in fats and sugar and low in fiber adds to inflammation, constipation, and pain that can trigger uncomfortable bowel diseases. Drinking plenty of water, eating fruits and vegetables, and cutting down on alcohol, cigarettes, caffeine, and processed foods can help improve symptoms if you are currently experiencing pain.

    According to the CDC , regular screening, beginning at age 50, is the key to preventing colorectal cancer. So, if you are 50 years old or older, talk to your doctor about getting screened for colon cancer. Most colorectal cancers are curable, provided they are discovered early and treated immediately.

    You can connect to a primary care doctor in your area using the Healthline FindCare tool .

    Where is colon pain usually felt?
    Pain. Sudden severe abdominal pain, especially in the lower abdomen and on the left side, is common with colon spasms. The pain can vary in its intensity with each spasm. more
    Where is endometriosis pain felt?
    Pain From Endometriosis Endometriosis can cause pain in more than one area of your body, including: Pelvic or belly pain. It might start before your period and last several days. It can feel sharp and stabbing, and medication usually won't help. more
    Where does colon pain hurt?
    Here are some signs and symptoms of a colon spasm that can occur: Pain. Sudden severe abdominal pain, especially in the lower abdomen and on the left side, is common with colon spasms. The pain can vary in its intensity with each spasm. more
    Can colon pain be felt in the back?
    It's possible for fecal impaction to cause low back pain. Fecal impaction occurs when a piece of dry stool is stuck in the colon or rectum. The pressure in the rectum or colon can result in pain radiating to the back or abdomen. more
    Where is colon pain located?
    Sudden severe abdominal pain, especially in the lower abdomen and on the left side, is common with colon spasms. The pain can vary in its intensity with each spasm. Gas or bloating. These signs may occur any time of the day, regardless of diet. more
    Where is hip pain felt?
    Definition. Hip pain involves any pain in or around the hip joint. You may not feel pain from your hip directly over the hip area. You may feel it in your groin or pain in your thigh or knee. more
    Where is appendix pain felt?
    Appendicitis typically starts with a pain in the middle of your tummy (abdomen) that may come and go. Within hours, the pain travels to your lower right-hand side, where the appendix is usually located, and becomes constant and severe. Pressing on this area, coughing or walking may make the pain worse. more
    Where would you feel colon pain?
    Pain. Sudden severe abdominal pain, especially in the lower abdomen and on the left side, is common with colon spasms. The pain can vary in its intensity with each spasm. Gas or bloating. more
    Can emotional pain be felt physically?
    Emotional pain can often feel as strong as physical pain and at times can even cause symptoms of pain throughout the body. It can also have a detrimental impact on both short-term and long-term mental well-being, so getting appropriate help and treatment is important. more
    Does colon cause back pain?
    Back pain caused by fecal impaction It's possible for fecal impaction to cause low back pain. Fecal impaction occurs when a piece of dry stool is stuck in the colon or rectum. The pressure in the rectum or colon can result in pain radiating to the back or abdomen. more
    Can colon pain be felt in the back?
    It's possible for fecal impaction to cause low back pain. Fecal impaction occurs when a piece of dry stool is stuck in the colon or rectum. The pressure in the rectum or colon can result in pain radiating to the back or abdomen. more

    Source: www.healthline.com

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