Spastic colon is a common gastrointestinal disorder, which can be controlled through dietary and lifestyle changes, along with the right medicines. Here is a brief overview about some remedies for this condition.
Spastic colon, which is another term for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), is characterized by abdominal bloating and cramping. Even though there is no cure for this disorder, it does not usually cause any permanent damage to the colon. The symptoms can be quite annoying and uncomfortable, but can be easily controlled through some dietary and lifestyle changes, with or without medicines. Most of the spastic colon patients find improvement in the symptoms with these simple remedial measures and healthy lifestyle changes.
The exact cause for this condition is still not known, but abnormal muscle contractions of the intestinal tract could be a reason. This type of muscle contractions could be either due to an abnormality of the brain (which controls muscle contraction) or the colon. Most of the affected people experience either diarrhea or constipation predominantly. In some patients, both conditions may alternate, due to the spastic action of the colon. Spastic colon causes include trigger factors, like certain foods, stress, other illnesses, like gastrointestinal infections.
As mentioned earlier, there is no cure for spastic colon. The conventional treatment is aimed at providing relief from the symptoms. It includes medicines to control diarrhea/constipation, antidepressants, anticholinergic medicines (to control activities of the autonomic nervous system and for relief from bowel spasms), antibiotics (for patients with overgrowth of bacteria in the intestine), and fiber supplements (for those with constipation). Spastic colon patients must avoid foods, like carbonated beverages, salads, and raw fruits. Vegetables, like cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower, are also not good for them. Such foods cause bloating.
Counseling is also offered to such patients, as psychological factors can trigger the symptoms. There are some medicines, which are specifically made for people affected with this condition, but their efficacy is still not proven. Apart from medicines, lifestyle and dietary factors are also important, as far as the treatment is concerned. The affected people must drink plenty of water and avoid foods that can trigger the symptoms. They should exercise regularly, and eat at regular intervals. Avoid stress, as it is one of the common trigger factors for the symptoms.
As there is no cure for this condition, the only way out is to control the symptoms. Most of the remedies mentioned above, are found to be effective, for this purpose.
- Studies show that, incorporation of probiotics in the diet may prove beneficial to some extent. Probiotics is the beneficial bacteria found in the intestine. It has been suggested that, people with spastic colon lack such beneficial bacteria. So intake of probiotics, either as supplements or in the form of foods, like yogurt, will be beneficial for them.
- Another popular remedy is peppermint oil, which is a great muscle relaxant. Hence, it is used in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome or spastic colon. However, make sure that the peppermint oil capsules that you consume are enteric-coated. Don’t chew or break the coating of the capsules. This remedy is not recommended for patients with heartburn or gastroesophageal reflux disease, so it is always better to consult your doctor beforehand.
- There are many other herbal remedies, like psyllium, chamomile, valerian tea, dandelion, and ginger. While psyllium is to be ingested with water, others can be added to tea. As the efficacy of these herbal medicines as spastic colon remedies is still not proven, you may resort to this treatment only after consulting your doctor.
- Yoga and acupuncture are also fast gaining momentum as remedies for spastic colon. It has been observed that both these wings of alternative medicine are effective in controlling the symptoms, to some extent.
These are some of the remedies that can help you in controlling the symptoms of spastic colon. All you have to do is avoid the trigger factors, and adopt the remedial measures.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice. Visiting your physician is the safest way to diagnose and treat any health condition.