The colon is an important organ of the digestive system. The organ is divided into the caecum, ascending colon, transverse colon, descending colon, sigmoid and rectum. A pain in the colon could be due to several reasons; however, if the pain is specifically in the ascending region of the colon, the most likely cause of it is a disease known as colitis. Colitis is characterised by the inflammation of the ascending colon.
The inflammation of the colon can be caused due to a variety of infections and illnesses. The main causes of the condition are infectious colitis, which is caused by viruses and bacteria that cause food poisoning; ischemic colitis, caused by artheriosclerosis in the arteries; inflammatory bowel disease, caused by autoimmune disorders like ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease; and finally, chemical colitis, caused due to overexposure of the colon to toxic chemicals.
The symptoms of colitis are largely determined by the kind of colitis present in the body. However, the two main symptoms of colitis are abdominal pain, especially in the ascending colon region, and diarrhoea. There may be occasional spotting of blood in the bowel movements and the pain may also be accompanied by low-grade fever and chills. If the infection is severe, it may cause you to have a condition in which there is a constant urge to pass stool.
When to See a Doctor
When the symptoms are mild, they can be characterised by short episodes of diarrhoea. In such a case, there may not be a lot of pain associated with the condition. However, if diarrhoea persists for an extended period of time, it requires medical attention. You should also consult a doctor if there is persistent fever, dehydration, increase in the abdominal pain or presence of blood in the bowel movements.
According to eMedicinehealth, the diagnosis typically begins with the discussion of medical history. Conditions like Crohn’s disease are hereditary and the pain could be linked to it. It is important for the doctor to learn about the symptoms, the onset and their duration. If there is presence of blood in the bowel movement, the doctor would check for areas of tenderness in the abdomen. Some of the tests prescribed by the doctor to make a definitive diagnosis are a complete blood count, blood urea nitrogen test, stool test and a test to check for electrolytic abnormalities.
The treatment of ulcerative colitis depends on its cause. For infections caused by bacteria and viruses, medication is prescribed by the doctor. Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis can be controlled by medications and a regulated diet. For ischemic colitis, intravenous fluids are administered to treat dehydration. Using medications, doctors try to restore blood supply to the bowels. Surgery may need to be performed to remove certain parts of the bowels which have lost blood supply.
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