Important Facts about Prolapsed Colon


A prolapsed colon, also known as a rectal prolapse, refers to the colon or rectum losing its moorings and protruding from the anus. The rectum is the last part of the large intestine and is close to the anal opening. Sometimes due to various causes such as age, straining from constipation, strain during child birth or because of some other illness, the ligaments and muscles of the region are weak and unable to hold the rectum in place. This leads to a rectal prolapse which tends to happen in stages. An internal prolapse refers to the stage when a mass may protrude out of the anus when the patient is having a bowel movement and then it goes back in when the patient gets up. As the problem progresses the rectum does not go back in on its own. An untreated rectal prolapse can lead to problems such as terminal incontinence.

Causes of Rectal Prolapse

Patients tend to notice a rectal prolapsed during a bowel movement and assume that that is somehow the cause of the problem. In reality the cause is not the movement but the strain on the internal muscles, for example when there is constipation, which demands additional effort from the patient. That strain tends to weaken the muscles and ligaments attaching the colon to the internal walls and this causes it to slip from its position.

Some other recognized reasons for muscle weakening include the natural process of aging. As we grow older, we see that more apparent muscles such as the arms and legs show signs of wear and tear. The vigor of the human body lessens at this stage and the rectal prolapse is a sign of weakening in places where it is not so readily obvious.

Women who have had difficult pregnancies and deliveries also seem susceptible to a prolapsed colon. The muscles which are heavily stretched during that period do not quite regain their original firmness and this leaves the colon untethered.

Why is it important to treat a prolapsed colon?

Patients sometimes ignore a rectal prolapse in the early stages. It stems from a combination of embarrassment and the fact that the rectum can still be easily pushed back in – the tendency is to put off dealing with the issue. However, this is dangerous because a prolapsed colon can affect its neighboring organs and lead to other health problems also. Among the organs that can be affected are the bladder, the uterus, the prostate or the fallopian tubes.  It is not unheard of for rectal prolapsed patients to start experiencing severe back trouble and hemorrhoids. In these cases the problem has probably been ignored for a while.

Treatment for prolapsed colon

This will very much depend on the stage at which a patient goes to the doctor. If it is in the early stages the rectum will be pushed back and doctors may suggest suppositories and stool softeners to make bowel movement less taxing. This will remove the immediate source or each episode of the rectum protruding out the body. If this is not enough to control the problem, surgery may be needed. There are a couple of different options available and the doctors will walk through these with the patient to ensure that it is a choice that the patient is okay with proceeding.

How to avoid a prolapse

Whether you are recovering from one prolapse and surgery or you are concerned about the possibility of your being a candidate for rectal prolapsed, you can make some changes to your diet to improve your chances of avoiding the experience. Take a high fiber diet and drink plenty of water. Both these are ways to ensure that your body is able to process food and get rid of waste without too much difficulty. Helping your digestive system by working on a good routine and exercising regularly are also factors that will help in avoiding a prolapsed colon.


 

 

 

 


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