The colon is a long and hollow tube and located at the end of the digestive tract where your body produces and stores stool.
According to the MedlinePlus webpage, there are many disorders that can affect the colon’s ability to work properly, some of which include:
- Colorectal cancer: Occurs when tumors are formed in the lining of the large intestine. It is common among both men and women over age 50 and its symptoms include: diarrhea or constipation, a feeling that your bowel does not completely empty, blood in your stool, frequent pain or cramps caused by gas, feeling full or bloated, inexplicable weight loss, fatigue, nausea and vomiting. See: Colon cancer can be prevented
- Colonic polyps: A polyp is an extra piece of tissue that grows inside the body. With this condition, polyps grow in the large intestine or colon. While most are not dangerous, some can be cancerous. As a preventative measure, doctors remove and examine them.
- Ulcerative colitis: This is a disease that causes inflammation and ulcers to form in the membrane that lines the rectum and colon. It can occur at any age and tends to be hereditary.
- Diverticulosis: Diverticula are small pouches that project outward from the colon. As people age, the condition becomes more common. Its main cause is associated with having a low fiber diet.
- Irritable bowel syndrome: This can cause abdominal cramping, bloating and changes in bowel habits. Some people with this condition have constipation, while others have diarrhea. Despite the discomfort this causes, it does not damage the intestines.
It is important to remember that treatment of these conditions varies depending on how complicated they are. Treatment can include following a certain diet, taking medication, and in some cases, surgery.
Colon pain (article in Spanish)