Although spastic colon is one of the most common of all gastrointestinal disorders, its precise nature and cause is not fully understood.
The major symptoms of spastic colon are:
- Pain, which may be chronic or intermittent, occurs in any area of the abdominal region.
- Irregular bowel movements, varying from constipation or diarrhoea to an intermittent combination of both.
- Flatulence, excess gas formation with increased distension and bloating.
Stress is a major trigger factor in spastic colon.
Because the nature of spastic colon varies among individuals, a personalized approach to nutritional care is essential.
The eating plan should give attention to the following principles:
- Increase the intake of dietary fibre and modify the texture of the dietary fibre to improve movement of the stool through the colon.
- Recognize and avoid gas-forming foods.
- Recognize and correct food intolerances e.g. avoid dairy products in the case of lactose intolerance.
- Reduce the total fat intake of meals.
- Avoid large meals as this increases gastric distention and discomfort.
- Change air-swallowing habits such as chewing gum, drinking carbonated beverages and eating rapidly as these habits increase the discomfort of IBS.