Colon Pain: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment of Pain in This Part of the Digestive System

It is a common complaint among patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Pain is a component of several disease activity indices and is a significant concern for patients.

Pain is a common reason for the poor quality of life that is often seen in patients with diseases of the colon or IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Diseases).

Also, uncontrollable aspects of pain are associated with deep anxiety. This anxiety can lead to maladaptive coping mechanisms that make the pain even more difficult to manage.

So, in summary, pain in the colon is described as a sudden and severe contraction and usually occurs due to an underlying health condition.

Basic anatomy of the colon

The colon is a one-meter-long muscular tube part of the large intestine within the gastrointestinal system, responsible for absorbing water and salt from food. The colon also serves as a storage place for waste.

The colon is segmented into four parts:

The first segment is called the ascending colon.

It begins with a small pouch (the cecum) where the small intestine joins the colon and extends into the upper right area of ​​the abdomen. The cecum is also where the appendix enters the colon.


The second segment is called the transverse colon.

This part goes through the body from the right side to the left side in the upper abdomen.

The third segment is called the descending colon.

This is facing down on the left side.

The fourth and last segment is known as the sigmoid colon.

This segment is called this way because of its “S” or “sigmoid” shape.

Many diseases can be associated with colon pain, including malabsorption, chronic inflammation, and cancer, so good health and a general diet, as well as detection of colon diseases, are essential.

Symptoms of pain in the colon

Symptoms of colon disorders generally include:

  • Abdominal pain.
  • Constipation .
  • Diarrhea.
  • Gases.
  • Swelling.
  • Cramps or spasms
  • Fatigue.

What Causes Colon Pain?

The colon is prone to inflammation and inflammatory disorders that can be triggered by:

  • Diet.
  • Stress .
  • Diseases.
  • Lifestyle.
  • Medicines.

When your colon is healthy, it will efficiently remove waste that your body no longer needs. However, when your colon is unhealthy, it can lead to various painful problems.

The most common disorders of the colon are inflammatory bowel diseases, such as:

  • Ulcerative colitis: which causes pain in the sigmoid colon, the final part of the large intestine that leads to the rectum.
  • Crohn’s disease: usually causes pain around the navel or lower right side of the abdomen.
  • Diverticulitis: which causes sigmoid colon pain.
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome – Most often causing pain in the lower left abdomen.
  • Colorectal cancer: rarely causes abdominal pain.

Treatment for pain in the colon

Inflammatory bowel diseases are triggered or aggravated by a poor diet. There is an increase in the statistics of people who have colorectal cancer. Many diseases of the colon can be prevented through lifestyle changes, such as healthy eating.

Cut back on certain foods.

The first step in treating colon pain is modifying your diet to see if you can reduce inflammation and find relief. Certain foods contribute more to inflammation, including:

  • Red meat
  • Fried food.
  • Refined sugar and processed carbohydrates.
  • Alcohol.
  • Café.

Adjust your lifestyle

The second step in treating colon pain is to make other lifestyle changes, eliminating behaviors that negatively affect colon health, such as:

  • Smoke.
  • Sitting excessively / sedentary work environment.
  • Lack of exercise.

Reconsider medications

The third step is to review the medications you take. If possible, stop using non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin and ibuprofen, increasing inflammation and affect the intestinal lining. Your doctor can recommend alternatives.

Eat more fiber

Dietary fiber speeds up the waste elimination process, helping reduce constipation and inflammation. Without enough fiber to keep the intestine moving, stools can become stiff and painful.

With enough fiber, the colon reduces the strain and pressure it places on the abdomen and veins, reducing the risk of:

  • Hernias.
  • Hemorrhoids.
  • Varicose veins
  • Colon cancer.
  • Obesity.
  • High blood pressure
Some healthy sources of dietary fiber to consider introducing to your diet include:
  • Saved.
  • Cereals.
  • Fruits.
  • Vegetables.
  • Nuts and seeds.

Drink more water

Dehydration can contribute to complex, painful bowel movements and slow, blocked bowel movements. The National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine recommends drinking at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day to maintain adequate hydration.

Do more exercise

A sedentary or high-stress lifestyle can aggravate the colon, so it’s essential to find a way to relax and take time to give your body the exercise it needs to continue to function correctly.

One study found that regular exercise can reduce the risk of diverticulitis in men by up to 37 percent.


To treat colon pain, your doctor may prescribe an anti-inflammatory and analgesic; You may also request laboratory, physical, and other procedures to detect and diagnose the cause of the pain.


In extreme cases, surgery is an option to relieve colon pain.