irritable colon

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Related to irritable colon: spastic colon, irritable colon syndrome


the part of the large intestine extending from the cecum to the rectum; it is divided as follows: the ascending colon passes upward from the cecum to the lower edge of the liver, where it bends and becomes the transverse colon; the transverse colon crosses the abdominal cavity from right to left below the stomach and then bends downward to become the descending colon; the descending colon then extends downward along the left side of the abdomen, and at the brim of the pelvis it becomes the sigmoid colon, an S-shaped curve leading down to the sacrum where it becomes the rectum. See also digestive system and see color plates. adj., adj colon´ic.
irritable colon (nervous colon) (spastic colon) terms formerly used for irritable bowel syndrome.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.

ir·ri·ta·ble co·lon

tendency to colonic hyperperistalsis, sometimes with colicky pains and diarrhea.
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012

ir·ri·ta·ble bow·el syn·drome

(IBS) , irritable colon (ir'i-tă-bĕl bow'ĕl sin'drōm, kō'lŏn)
A condition characterized by gastrointestinal signs and symptoms including constipation, diarrhea, gas and bloating, all in the absence of organic pathology. Associated with uncoordinated and inefficient contractions of the large intestine.
Synonym(s): spastic colon.
Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing © Farlex 2012


(ko'lon) [L. colon, fr Gr. kolon, large intestine]
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COLON AND RECTUM: Normal colon, seen endoscopically
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COLON AND RECTUM: Normal colon, seen endoscopically
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COLON AND RECTUM: Normal colon, seen endoscopically
The large intestine from the end of the ileum to the anal canal that surrounds the anus, about 59 in (1.5 m) long; divided into the ascending, the transverse, the descending, and the sigmoid or pelvic colon. Beginning at the cecum, the first part of the large intestine (ascending colon) passes upward to the right colic or hepatic flexure, where it turns as the transverse colon passing ventral to the liver and stomach. On reaching the spleen, it turns downward (left colic or splenic flexure) and continues as the descending colon to the brim of the pelvis, where it is continuous with the sigmoid colon and extends to the rectum. See: illustration


Mechanical: The colon mixes the intestinal contents. Chemical: The colon does not secrete digestive enzymes. The products of bacterial action that are absorbed into the bloodstream are carried by the portal circulation to the liver before they enter the general circulation. More water is absorbed in the colon than in the small intestine. In this way, body fluids are conserved, and despite the large volumes of secretions added to the food during its progress through the alimentary canal, the contents of the colon are gradually dehydrated until they assume the consistency of normal feces or even become quite hard. See: absorption, colon; defecation

Bacteria of the colon

The normal microbial flora in the colon, some of which may produce vitamins, esp. vitamin K; metabolize proteins and sugars; produce organic acids and ammonia; and deconjugate bile acids. Several conditions, such as use of antibiotics, corticosteroids, or dieting, may alter the normal flora. Although Escherichia coli is the most widely known bacterium that inhabits the colon, it is not the most common, being outnumbered by anaerobic Bacteroides species by a very wide margin.

irritable colon

Irritable bowel syndrome.

sigmoid colon

The part of the colon that turns medially at the left iliac crest, between the descending colon and the rectum; shaped like the letter S.

spastic colon

Irritable bowel syndrome.
Medical Dictionary, © 2009 Farlex and Partners

irritable colon

Collins Dictionary of Medicine © Robert M. Youngson 2004, 2005

Irritable colon

An intestinal disorder often accompanied by abdominal pain and diarrhea.
Mentioned in: Antigas Agents
Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

ir·ri·ta·ble co·lon

(iri-tă-bĕl kōlŏn)
Tendency to colonic hyperperistalsis.
Medical Dictionary for the Dental Professions © Farlex 2012

Patient discussion about irritable colon

Q. What percentages of fibromyalgia patients have IBS. My cousin with fibromyalgia aka FMS have also been diagnosed with IBS. Is it a usual happening? What percentages of fibromyalgia patients have IBS?

A. Irritable bowel syndrome seems to go hand in hand with FMS, similar to the way in which people with fibromyalgia are also found to have depression. A fairly high percentage of individuals with fibromyalgia aka FMS have also been diagnosed with IBS, or irritable bowel syndrome. So how high is the percentage? It is believed that up to 70 to 80 percent of fibromyalgia patients also suffer from IBS, a form of inflammatory bowel disease. Irritable bowel syndrome seems to go hand in hand with FMS, similar to the way in which people with fibromyalgia are also found to have depression. Statistically, of course, those who have both IBS and FMS are overwhelmingly female, just as patients who are diagnosed with depression, fibromyalgia, or irritable bowel syndrome separately, tend more often to be female versus male.

More discussions about irritable colon
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References in periodicals archive ?
He claimed workers' compensation benefits for stress, hiatal hernia and irritable colon, caused by what he called "a long series of administrative difficulties regarding his promotion over the last several years."
Irritable bowel syndrome is also known as irritable colon and spastic colon.
(6) A recent review article states that the most common cause among infants taking formula is protein intolerance; for toddlers, irritable colon of infancy, protracted viral enteritis, and giardiasis; and for children and adolescents, ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, and primary acquired lactose intolerance.
Children who are restricted to a small range of foods until they are near school age seem to have more gut diseases, like irritable colon or inflammatory bowel disease, in later life.