Medical Q&As

Spastic colon - pain relief?

I suffer from what is called a spastic colon. It seems to be aggravated when I eat a lot of fibre. Is there any thing that can help me with these pains that I get from time to time? Also stress seems to bring on the pain.

A high fibre diet is one of the mainstays in the treatment of spastic colon. However, it is also important to drink more fluids. It may be that you are experiencing some difficulty with the extra fibre because your fluid intake is insufficient. It might be helpful to you if you increased your overall consumption of fluid by taking at least an extra pint of water per day on top of your usual daily intake. There are also pills available that can alleviate the pain you are suffering. They are called antispasmodics and they work by relaxing the smooth muscle that lines the wall of the colon. During your episodes of pain the smooth muscle in the colon goes into spasm and this traps gas, liquid and solid material in segments of the colon. This creates pressure effects within the colon and this is the cause of your pain. Therefore the antispasmodic is a very logical treatment for the pain because it eliminates the spasm. These pills are available on prescription. Many sufferers with spastic colon reserve the use of these pills for those occasions when they are experience flare-ups of spastic colon. It is not usually necessary to take them on a continuing long-term basis.