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The main connection between constipation and colitis is that constipation is one of the primary symptoms of the condition. Colitis causes inflammation of the colon, which can lead to trouble passing stools along with cramps and gas. While the two conditions do not always occur together, those who suffer from colitis often battle frequent constipation as well.
Colitis and constipation are both digestive issues that affect the colon. Colitis is characterized by pain in the abdomen, gas, bloating and constipation. Therefore, constipation is a symptom of the disorder, although some may also experience diarrhea or a combination between both extremes. Constipation can occur without colon inflammation and is also the symptom of several other conditions.
There are treatments available for both constipation and colitis. When they come together, the main goal is to reduce inflammation and increase digestive function. This can be done by altering the patient’s diet and encouraging him or her to eat foods that contain high levels of fiber. It is also important for patients to avoid eating foods that cause symptoms, which generally include items that are high in fat and low in nutrients. Dairy products are also a common irritant, as well as alcohol and caffeine.
While they may occur together, constipation and colitis may also be present as two separate conditions. Constipation can occur due to dehydration or not eating enough fiber. This alone is often completely curable with dietary and lifestyle changes. Colitis is not curable, but can be kept under control through similar methods. Therefore, if frequent constipation occurs with no known cause even after dietary changes have been met, colitis may be a possibility.
Both constipation and colitis can cause a fair amount of pain in sufferers. In some cases, colitis pain may be caused by constipation, although this is not always the case. Each condition is frequently accompanied by bloating, excess gas, and stomach pain. These conditions tend to feed off one another, since gas is produced by compacted stools, and hard to pass stools can be exacerbated by inflammation.
Anyone who is experiencing any of these symptoms for more than two weeks despite adequate fiber intake and hydration should contact a doctor. Tests can be done to rule out serious conditions, which are rare, and inflammation may be noted. Sometimes medications can be given to help reduce pain and irritation of the digestive system.
A lot of people with ulcerative colitis would love a bit of constipation. That might be a bit crass, but it's true. Ulcerative colitis, when it flares, causes those with that condition to usually be in the bathroom quite a bit.