Mucous Colitis Symptoms and Treatment
Mucous colitis, more commonly known as an irritable colon, is a common disorder of the large bowel, producing discomfort and irregular bowel habits. Most patients suffering from an irritable colon are tense, anxious, and hurried. For years their bowel habits have been faulty. Many of them eat rapidly and at odd times and often fail to heed the call of nature to move their bowels. They use strong laxatives and enemas frequently, and these only tend to make the condition worse.
Normally the colon is intended to store the waste material until most of the fluids have been removed. The result is a soft, well-formed stool, consisting mainly in colon bacteria and non-absorbable food materials. People who suffer from an irritable colon do not have normal peristaltic or wavelike movements in the large bowel, but rather irregular and erratic contractions which are particular noticeable on the left side when viewed under the X-ray fluoroscope. These peculiar movements retard the normal evacuation of the fecal material, which in turn becomes excessively dehydrated and hard.
It is part of the colon’s function to absorb fluid, but if the stools remain too long in the colon without being passed, they become hard and dry. Feelings of bloating or fullness develop because gas is not absorbed or normally expelled. Because the bowel irritated, excessive amounts of mucus are produced within the bowel, resulting in mucous colitis. Some patients suffer from constipation, alternating with periods of loose bowel movements. In still others there is persistent diarrhea which may continue for years.
Many of these people also suffer from hemorrhoids. Steak of blood may appear in the stools. For this reason, all patient is bleeding in the stools must be examined carefully, both by X-ray and also through the proctoscope and sigmoidoscope to be sure there are no small growth or polyps which could be come malignant.
Mucous Colitis Treatment:
An irritable colon is not necessarily serious. By all means, break the laxative habit. Enemas should be rarely used. This may aggravate the symptoms for a time, but if the patient is ever to improve, he must give up the use of strong laxatives and enemas. Rest and relaxation are important. However, some mild regular physical exercise is very beneficial. Meanwhile, he should avoid all foods that may irritable the bowel. It is best to take a bland diet for the present, but some fruit and low roughage vegetables should also be included.
Try to have a bowel movement at the same time each day, devoting at least ten or fifteen minutes to the attempt. However, it is important to avoid straining. The best time for establishing a regular habit is fifteen to forty-five minutes after break. If no bowel movement occurs for three days, use a low enema or an oil retention enema.
Patient who habitually use laxative may need some stool softening medicine such as methycellulose, syrup or tablets, or some medicine containing psyllium seed. Mineral also helps as a lubricant. Olive oil is another excellent and often beneficial substance in the bowel. Gentle heat to the abdomen will increase peristalsis and aid in developing more normal habits. The diet should preferably be bland, avoiding all harsh substances until better bowel habits are developed.