Normally, a colon consists of four key components: the ascending colon, transverse colon, descending colon, and finally the sigmoid colon. However, for a great many individuals there is a fifth part, the redundant colon.
A common occurrence, this simply refers to extra loops in the colon (usually the descending colon) and generally should be no cause for concern. This happens when the colon is simply a bit longer than normal.
About Redundant Colon
The redundant colon is an anatomical quirk that evolves naturally. It refers to extra twists or loops in the large intestine. It should be distinguished from the phenomenon of “twisted colon,” which is used to describe the colon twisting itself as a response to malnutrition or other colon diseases.
Causes of Twisted Colon
- Chronic constipation
- Lack of fiber in diet
A redundant colon, on the other hand, is usually only discovered through the use of an X-Ray to examine the colon as an overall organ after taking a barium enema. It may not be noticed before this when the colon is in normal health, as it does not normally cause any extra symptoms or require any sort of treatment.
Redundant Colon Function
The redundant colon serves no specific purpose. It is usually seen simply as extra loops in the descending colon. As such the function would be the same as the remainder of the colon, which is extracting water and nutrients from food and waste products and moving waste material on to the next section of the colon and eventually the outside world via the rectum.
Disorders of the Redundant Colon
A common complaint for people who have a redundant colon is abdominal pain. This usually occurs when the redundant colon makes an extra twist around itself, leading to cramping. In addition, redundant colon is just as susceptible to the other colon disorders that plague the remaining four parts of the colon, including colon cancer, irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, or others. While not always something serious, this can still result in myriad symptoms, including the following.
Signs and Symptoms of Redundant Colon Disorders
- Bloody stools
- Abdominal cramping
For diagnosis and treatment of these symptoms, a visit to a health care professional is recommended to determine what the cause is. After this there are a number of treatment options available, including colon cleansing.
In many cases, proper nutrition can keep the redundant colon healthy and symptom free. A diet rich in fiber is essential to maintenance of the colon as a whole, and healthy regular bowel movements.
High Fiber Foods to Promote Redundant Colon Health
- Whole grains
- Whole wheat pastas
- Dried fruits
- Apples with skin
- Nuts and seeds
- Leafy green vegetables
- Dried peas and beans
With proper care, a redundant colon should be no cause for concern. It is simply a natural result of the colon being a bit larger in size than what is considered average.