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What to Do If You Experience Colon Pain: Essential Steps and Treatment Options

A female doctor explained x-ray film on the computer to a male patient at the clinic. The patient is asking the doctor, What to do if you experience colon pain over time?”

What To Do If You Experience Colon Pain

Attacks of colon pain can come out of seemingly nowhere, and these attacks can be extremely painful and long-lasting. Those who experience colon pain should take it very seriously and should receive medical treatment as soon as possible. Several inflammatory bowel diseases can cause you to experience colon pain, and it is even possible that you are experiencing early signs of colon cancer. You do not want to ignore this pain or pretend that it is not happening. It is best to try to react and respond to it as soon as you realize that something must be done. You need to know what to do if you experience colon pain.

In this article, we will discover what to do if you experience colon pain. Read on.

What to Do If You Experience Colon Pain and the Potential Causes of Colon Pain

It is impossible to pinpoint the causes of an individual’s colon pain until they receive medical tests that can officially clarify why they are going through the pain they are going through. That said, it is ideal to know about a few of the potential causes of colon pain so you at least have some kind of starting point to go off of. A few potential causes include:

  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Colitis
  • Diverticular Disease
  • Colorectal Cancer

Some of these potential causes are relatively minor and can be easily treated with over-the-counter (OTC) medications. However, some of these issues are far more serious (such as colorectal cancer) and will require more extensive treatment. This is why there is no excuse for delaying getting to a doctor to verify what is causing your colon pain.

How Colon Pain is Diagnosed

There is a medical examination process that one will go through when they are seeking to have their colon pain diagnosed. VeryWell Health explains what this might look like:

There are so many reasons for pain in the abdomen or the colon, so various tests might be required. The list might be narrowed down by the presence of other symptoms, such as diarrhea, constipation, blood or mucus in the stool, or other things going on outside of the digestive system.

A few of the potential tests that your doctor might order include the following:

Physical Examination

Typically, your doctor will begin with a physical examination of your body. This is non-invasive and simply allows the doctor to get an initial assessment of where things might stand with you. Your doctor is likely to listen to your abdomen with a stethoscope and feel it to see if they can detect any masses or tender spots. Your doctor might also require you to submit to a rectal exam. This is when they briefly insert a gloved finger into your rectum to check for masses, blood, or other troubling signs of potential disease.

Abdominal Ultrasound

Many doctors decide to start with the least invasive tests with their patients first to try to keep things as comfortable as possible for those patients. As such, they may order an abdominal ultrasound to get a better look at your internal organs. You don’t have to fret about radiation with a test like this as it is not part of this exam. Instead, it can easily be done at the doctor’s office or as an outpatient procedure.

CT Scan

This is a type of X-ray that can help doctors by producing a series of images that they can use to produce images of the abdomen. A professionally trained radiologist can then review those images to see if they spot any kind of abnormalities or other issues that must be addressed as soon as possible. That is extremely helpful when attempting to diagnose a patient with a particular issue.

Colonoscopy

It is recommended that men get a colonoscopy every 7-10 years after they reach age 45 assuming they have no family history of colon cancer. This is a routine medical procedure that can save your life by allowing a doctor to get an early indication of a potential problem with your colon. If you come to a doctor’s office complaining of colon pain, they will likely recommend a colonoscopy to help determine why you might be in pain and what treatment options to move forward with.

Lab Tests

Your doctor needs to get a good look at your white and red blood cell count to see if there is anything unusual going on there as well. Yet again, this is a tell-tell sign that can tip off your doctor to a large problem going on within your system. If that is the case, early detection is the key to turning things around. Lab tests are an essential part of diagnosing what is happening to your body.

Potential Treatment Options

The treatment options offered to you will heavily depend on the determined cause of your colon pain. The severity of what you are experiencing is another factor that doctors must give fair consideration to as well. A few examples of what to do if you experience colon pain and several potential treatment options include:

  • Antibiotics – A medication-based approach is appropriate for treating certain types of colon pain. This is common when the diagnosis is Ischemic colitis for example. Your doctor may recommend using antibiotics along with pain management techniques to help control symptoms and take at least some of the pain out of the equation for you.
  • Over-The-Counter Medications – This approach allows a patient to pick up the medications that can bring relief to their colon pain without a prescription. If the cause of your colon pain is something like constipation, then it is likely that your doctor will recommend OTC medications to help manage this issue.
  • Dietary and Lifestyle Changes – A treatment recommendation for something like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) might be dietary and lifestyle changes. These changes are not necessarily easy for the patient to follow, but they can bring the relief that the patient needs.
  • Radiation Therapy and Surgery – Some of the more invasive and intense treatments are reserved for patients who are experiencing some of the most intense issues contributing to their colon pain. This is why radiation therapy and surgery might be recommended for someone going through the experience of colon cancer.

Ask your doctor about which treatment options are likely to be best for you, and take heed of what they have to say. After all, you certainly want to ensure that you are putting yourself on the right path to take care of your underlying colon pain.