What Causes Colon Spasms?

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Colon spasms are most frequently brought on by internalized stress of every day life, states The Gastroenterology Group. Depression and anxiety may heighten stress and increase the occurrence of colonic spasms. Personal and financial worries can add to the frequency of colon spasms.

A spastic colon is characterized by cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, constipation and diarrhea, according to The Gastroenterology Group. The most common areas of pain are in the left lower abdomen and under the right and left rib cage. Colonic cramping can feel like a very serious condition. To rule out other conditions, a doctor performs a physical exam and blood work, and he may perform other tests, such as a colonoscopy, gastroscopy, an ultrasound or CT scan. There is no test that diagnoses spastic colon, but an alert and experienced doctor can recognize the condition. Antispasmatic medication can help with symptoms while the patient works on reducing and coping with stress in life.

A spastic colon is another term for irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, caused by spontaneous contractions of muscles in the small and large intestines, notes Mayo Clinic. A spastic colon describes the increased contractions of the intestinal muscles associated with IBS. These contractions are also called spasms. IBS is associated with decreased motility, in which case the term spastic colon is not accurate.