Ten Self-Help Measures To Manage Colon Pain

January 19, 2021

Colon pain refers to a feeling of discomfort in the large bowel. The function of the colon is to reabsorb water and store human waste. Sometimes, the colon can be blocked, twisted, or experience slow transit. Then, colon pain develops. Often, it is a transient symptom that causes no harm. However, chronic digestive pain may indicate an underlying health problem. 

Why Am I Experiencing Colon Pain? What Are The Common Causes Of Colon Pain?

Colon pain is a perplexing clinical symptom. The following might be the reasons why you are experiencing colon pain:

  • Change of bowel habits. Both diarrhea and constipation can elicit painful bowel movements. Pain can also be persistent in people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). IBS is a functional gastrointestinal disorder characterized by bloating and change in bowel movement. 
  • Bloating. When air or fluid fills in the stomach, it causes discomfort or pain. Sometimes, abdominal distention accompanies nausea, vomiting, and cramps. 
  • Lactose intolerance. Lactose intolerance occurs when the body does not have sufficient enzymes to break down the lactose found in milk and dairy products. Clinical manifestations of lactose intolerance include bloating, diarrhea, and colon pain. 
  • Food allergies. Food allergy, insensitivity, or intolerance can affect gut health. Specific foods such as peanuts, shellfish, and eggs can trigger autoimmune responses and elicit symptoms such as abdominal distention, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and colon pain. 
  • Prolonged stress and unhealthy lifestyle. Chronic exposure to stress, bad diet, inactivity, and lack of sleep can trigger some digestive problems, including abdominal pain or discomfort, bloating, or heartburn. 
  • Polyps or nodule formation. Colon polyps can protrude into the colon. While most of them are asymptomatic, polyps that progress to cancerous clumps can produce colonic pain. 
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are inflammatory bowel diseases that cause frequent pain in the colon. Inflammatory bowel diseases are characterized by chronic inflammation and ulcers of the large intestine and its adjacent organs. 

What Can I Do To Relieve Colon Pain?

In most cases, colon pain may go away on its own. However, there are self-help strategies that can help you soothe the pain naturally. The following are the best ten (10) remedial measures for colonic pain:

  • Adjust your fiber accordingly. Regulate your fiber intake according to the type of stool you may have. People who have loose bowel movements should reduce fiber consumption. If you have watery stool, remember the BRAT diet, which stands for Banana, Rice, Apple, and Toast. In contrast, people with constipation need to bulk up their poop. Thus, they need to eat more fiber. Nuts, sweet potatoes, flaxseeds, broccoli, and berries have the highest sources of fiber. 
  • Try some de-bloating measures. Bloating is the feeling of being uncomfortably full. It often accompanies colonic pain and a ”gassy’ tummy. The Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology recommends trying dietary changes and using probiotics, particularly Activia, before resorting to medical management like antispasmodics and biofeedback. You can also ease off bloating by drinking peppermint tea or a cup of warm water. Additionally, avoid gas-forming foods such as onion, potato peels, cabbage, nuts, and broccoli.
  • Cut down (or avoid coffee). Drinking too much coffee stimulates the autonomic nervous system, which controls digestion. The Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology explains that caffeine releases gastrin and gastric acid that may promote colon symptoms like pain and spasms. Caffeine may also trigger cholecystokinin release, which provokes or worsens gallstone formation. Limit intake of coffee up to three (3) cups daily. Alternatively, switch to decaffeinated options.
  • Experiment on a gluten-free diet (or a low gluten diet). Gluten rests commonly in everyday foods such as bread, sauces, cakes, biscuits, and processed meals. Eating gluten triggers the release of particular proteins, called zonulin, that cause pain and autoimmune attack. In a clinical review, health experts cited the benefits of a gluten-free diet, which include improvement of gastrointestinal symptoms. They also reported that people who ditch gluten in their diet show improvement in their colon pain.
  • Perform detox. Colon pain can be caused by toxins, waste products, or gas. Engaging in detoxification or colon cleansing rejuvenates the digestive system. There are top colon health supplements to perform a quick fix. However, there are natural ways to do it. Detoxify by avoiding excessive sugar intake, blending green smoothies like kale, consuming dark green vegetables, drinking a good amount of water, and taking probiotics. 
  • De-stress. Chronic stress does not only affect mental health but also influences physical symptoms, including colon pain. The  Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology evaluates the effects of stress on digestive health. Engage in stress management techniques such as performing deep breathing exercises, doing yoga workouts, practicing meditation, and getting closer to nature. Such approaches do not only benefit the physical health but also better mental and emotional functioning. 
  • Optimize digestion using herbs and spices. People who manifest colon pain may experience indigestion. Certain herbs help people restore gut health and counteract digestive distress. Ginger, chamomile, artichoke, peppermint, and dandelion are carminative herbs that promote better digestion, relieve bloating, and ease off colon pain. Some of these herbs are found in dietary supplements like Colon Ultra Cleanse. Check Colon Ultra Cleanse reviews and see how the supplement works in promoting digestive health.
  • Ditch milk. Milk and other dairy products can be the worst food for digestion. While milk can be an excellent source of calcium, protein, and minerals, it can also be too fatty when taken excessively. Too much consumption of milk can lead to diarrhea, indigestion, and colonic pain. The USDA recommends two (2) to three (3) servings of milk and other dairy products per day. However, people who are lactose intolerant can have substitutes and healthier alternatives for dairy. Soya milk, almond milk, yogurt, and tofu are examples of these.
  • Get moving. Constipation may occur due to inactivity. Clinical evidence shows that people who have lesser physical activity are more susceptible to digestive problems. Exercise relieves bloating, improves digestion, alleviates colon discomfort or pain, lightens the mood, and helps eliminate bodily wastes. Establish a workout schedule three (3) to four (4) times weekly. Alternatively, incorporate exercise while at work. Use stairs instead of the lift; take walking breaks; do regular stretches; or walk when you can, rather than taking a bus.
  • Aim for 6 to 8 hours of sleep. Lack of sleep affects digestive health. Sleep deprivation exacerbates digestive issues such as colonic pain. Establish a healthy sleeping habit by sleeping six (6) to eight (8) hours a day. Also, sleeping on the left side is better. It puts less pressure on the body’s main organs. Plus, the stomach position is on the left, thereby aiding effective digestion.

What To Do When Natural Measures Do Not Work?

Management for colon pain should be straightforward. Digestive pain and discomfort may resolve on their own and may not warrant medical attention. Nevertheless, if the pain persists and the measures above do not seem to work, talk to your doctor. Your healthcare provider will perform a physical examination and ask you a few questions. You will also undergo blood tests and imaging procedures to establish the real cause of colon pain. 

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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