I am a 56-year old woman and have had problems with constipation since I was a child. I have been addicted to laxatives on-and-off. Several years ago I developed intermittent lower abdominal pain, but now it's every day in varying degrees. At one doctor's recommendation, I drastically changed my diet, eliminating gluten, dairy and coffee, with no improvement. I seem to do better without starches/sugars. I've also had to change my wardrobe - I can't wear anything that is remotely tight on my stomach and often have to leave my low-cut pants unfastened. I take Miralax every day and supplement with MOM as needed. I've also found a wonderful herbal product to help with the gas that gets trapped in the "curves."
My first colonoscopy could not be completed and was followed by a barium xray; there were no polyps or masses. After a second colonoscopy under anesthesia I was told I had IBS and sent home with pills that didn't work! It wasn't until I asked for a copy of the procedure report that I saw the term "redundant colon."
I have been able to find little information about this diagnosis. What treatment options are there? Is surgery an option and, if so, what is the longterm outcome? Is there someone who specialized in this problem - most gastroenterologists get that "deer-in-the-spotlight look" when I ask!?!
I hate that my life has to revolve around this problem - and no one understands what I'm going through!! I am otherwise healthy, I exercise regularly, eat well - I just want to know what I can do to "fix" this problem! Thanks!
Lizzie, ask for a referral to a good GI person and then discuss having a marker study done to follow 'transit time' through your large intestine. This will help the doc to determine what's going on. Some people do have surgery on the large intestine if there's a serious problem, but it would have to be documented. And the problem with the surgery is the large intestine has a variable blood supply so more than just the portion that's redundant might have to be removed. There are also consequences to removal of a portion of the colon. One of the largest can be on-going diarrhea, which many people find to be as bothersome as having unremitting constipation. You can make dietary changes to try to control the diarrhea, but?
Welcome to the gastroenterology community! If your only physical abnormality is a redundant colon then you should not get surgery. This a very common thing that a lot of people have. It can add to your constipation problems, so it is best to deal with the constipation problem (which is probably IBS) with a gastroenterologist and don't worry about the diagnosis of a redundant colon as it is not a big deal.
Respectfully, redundant colon can be problematic depending on the length and configuration of the redundancy. If of excessive length and if that redundant section is 'twistable' on it's mesocolon, the redundancy can 'twist or torque' presenting significant problems. When redundancy is found, it should be fully investigated and if the section presents problems, appropriate steps should be taken.
Very true, if lizzie416 starts developing twisting and torquing and developing obstructions from that, then surgery should be considered. However, many many people have a redundant colon and for almost all of them, surgery should not be performed.
I've seen my barium enema xrays, and they look like my abdomen is populated by a bunch of big snakes. There are so many loops and squiggles it's not funny. I don't have to be told that it's caused by constipation. In my 20s my intestinal troubles began, and I was encouraged to take Metamucil and eat plenty of fiber. I followed orders, kept taking the Metamucil, but nothing was happening on the toilet. I wondered where all that stuff was going, now I know I was probably stretching on the inside! I know I have IBS, and my bowels are never "normal," either constipated or diarrhea. Miralax is a disaster -- cramps and incontinence. Colace doesn't help much, either. Milk of Magnesia helps but I don't use it often. I'm still on a high fiber diet, and take a fiber supplement, but nothing's "normal."
I'm so sorry you are going thru this... Im also in my 20s and after much constipation, very irregular "activity" and many stomach cramps, I finally went to a GI doctor myself. Unfortunately many of the pains and problems and feelings you are describing, I can relate to all to on well.
I had a colonoscopy and an upper GI done. They some acid in my stomach, but most importantly an elongated colon. It explained everything.
Like you, I have not found a solution. And like you, I'm sick of my life revolving around this.
What I would suggest: maintain your exsercise or activity level, drink LOTS of water, and try to stay away from starches as much as possible. I have also found that taking a generic fiber supplement every morning with a big glass of water helps wonderously too.
My prayers are with you as we figure this out together. I'm so sorry for your discomfort and pain.
I have been suffering with this problem for over 2 1/2 years. After my persistence and 24 doctors later I found a colon doctor that did another colonoscopy and ordered an MRA for my blood vessels and I had a 99% blockage of my celiac artery. Had a stent put in but very little relief. My doctor put me on a medication called Linzess, well let me tell you it cleaned me out every morning but who can live on a toilet.. I did this for 30 days and am back to abdominal pain galore, can't exercise because of extreme pain. Been to the specialist at UofM in Ann Arbor, Mi and nothing. My quality of life is awful
this olso is happening to me ! I went to hospital. They gave me some tablets and some powder to mix with water for ten days.
An other docter told me to use Chlorophyll , cellulosis, to eat
1) lemon+1 spoon of honey+2 tbs of olive oil+ 1 onion morning , 4 days a week all the month long
2) pumpkin+ green tomatoes+ vegies of beenplant+igname
3) 4 aples+passion fruits+ pinapple+maize+papay all the day long at 8:00am and at 4:00pm. I took it there is only one week. I still wait for result of all this.
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