What Are the Causes of a Long Redundant Colon?

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The stomach isn't all it appears to be from the outside.
The stomach isn't all it appears to be from the outside. (Image: woman stomach image by Anatoly Tiplyashin from Fotolia.com)

Colons vary in shape and size. While all colons have loops, a redundant colon consists of extra loops which cause it to be longer than normal. The extra loops in the colon may have developed naturally or as the result of factors such as stress, toxins or dietary issues.

Constipation and Dietary Issues

The most probable cause of redundant colon is constipation. Putting pressure on the colon by straining for a bowel movement twists the colon causing obstruction, swelling or misshaping of the large intestine. Because constipation results from an imbalanced, fiber-deficient diet, prevention of constipation and the resulting problems like redundant colon can be addressed by following a diet that includes healthy fats and plenty of whole grains.

Stress

Because stress can lead to infrequent bowel movements, this can be another contributing factor in the development of constipation and, possibly, redundant colon.

Toxins and Pathogenic Organisms

Pathogenic organisms in the body contribute to redundant colon by causing illness, disease, and other health issues. If toxins and bacteria remain in the colon too long, they can contaminate the fecal matter and cause colon obstruction.

Warning

The term redundant colon is often confused with the term "twisted colon," or volvulus, which is actually a much more serious issue. While someone may be born with a long or redundant colon, a twisted colon occurs when the colon begins to twist around itself. This causes cramping, abdominal pain, a distended belly and usually requires immediate medical attention.

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