What Are the Different Colon Inflammation Symptoms?

C. Webb

Several different medical conditions can cause colon inflammation symptoms, but the most common culprits are Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. While each condition has periods of remission, the hallmark sign of a flare-up for both is inflammation. Colon inflammation symptoms include changes in bowel habits, abdominal cramps, and anal spasms.

Colon inflammation symptoms may include abdominal cramps.
Colon inflammation symptoms may include abdominal cramps.

Ulcerative colitis typically impacts the large intestine, also called the colon. Crohn's disease can happen anywhere along the intestinal tract, but tends to appear in the large intestine. Each condition should be medically monitored and treated.

Changes in bowel habits could be an indicator of colon inflammation.
Changes in bowel habits could be an indicator of colon inflammation.

The most commonly reported symptom of colon inflammation is a change in the patient's normal bowel routine. Patients complain of both severe diarrhea and constipation. Sometimes the two problems will alternate over several days or weeks. Cramping is typically present during these bouts.

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Abdominal cramps and anal spasms are two symptoms of colon inflammation.
Abdominal cramps and anal spasms are two symptoms of colon inflammation.

Another symptom of colon inflammation is a sudden urge to defecate. This urge comes on suddenly and can be distressing if the patient is not near a restroom. Fear of soiling his or her pants can cause anxiety. Stress can make symptoms worse, and patients are often instructed to reduce their stress levels.

When colon inflammation becomes a chronic condition, stool consistency may be changed. Mucus and blood in the stools are common. Stool shape may also change as spasms occur in the anal sphincter. These anal sphincter spasms can cause sharp, constant pain.

Abdominal cramping often signals that colon inflammation has returned. The cramping can come and go, as in the case of diarrhea, or it can become constant when accompanied by constipation. Pain may appear anywhere in the stomach region, but is typically felt in the lower portion of the abdomen.

Some colon inflammation symptoms occur outside the stomach or rectal areas. They include vomiting, chills, dehydration, and fever. Due to the fact that an inflamed colon can bleed, iron deficiency anemia is possible.

Treatment for colon inflammation symptoms includes treating individual problems, taking antibiotics, and, in some cases, undergoiong surgery. Fluids are given intravenously to provide rest to the stomach when the colon is inflamed. Antibiotics are prescribed if the inflammation is caused by a bacterial infection. Surgery removes part of the colon when relief cannot be found using less drastic measures.

Tobacco use may cause colon spasms.
Tobacco use may cause colon spasms.

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