What Are the Causes of Spastic Colon?


Quick Answer

The exact cause of a spastic colon, more commonly known as irritable bowel syndrome, is not known, according to WebMD. Faulty communication between the intestinal tract and the brain that results in muscle spasms, contractions and cramping pain is believed to be one cause of IBS.

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Full Answer

The spasms speed the passage of stool through the intestines and cause diarrhea, or they can slow the stool down, resulting in bloating and constipation, explains WebMD. Eating, anxiety, depression, hormonal changes and certain medicines, such as antibiotics, trigger IBS symptoms. Digestive tract infections, such as salmonella, and individuals with a family history of IBS are more likely to suffer with the condition. Women are twice as likely to have IBS, and symptoms often worsen during their menstrual periods, adds Mayo Clinic. Sometimes bacterial overgrowth in the intestines or acute gastroenteritis triggers IBS.

IBS, unlike inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, does not cause changes in bowel tissue or increase the risk of colorectal cancer, notes Mayo Clinic. Symptoms are severe in only a small number of individuals, and managing the diet and stress levels helps control them. Common dietary triggers are cruciferous vegetables, fats, spices, carbonated drinks and alcohol.

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