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Suggest treatment for tortuous colon

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Posted on Tue, 9 Jun 2015
Question: I have a theory that a TORTUROUS COLON or one that is elongated and or twisted and one that may also contain diverticula can result from consistantly not having access or time for a restroom in which case the person with condition is forced to strain against the urge to defecate sometimes until the end of his work day. If this occured day after day for many years, could this be determined to be the root cause of the malformed colon?
Decided to add some detail for better understanding of the question. There are many occupations which must be done with a daily RACE AGAINST THE CLOCK. These such jobs many times require the employee to work through his lunch and break times and even avoid restroom stops when needed to avoid any delays in the daily schedule which could result in disciplinary action against the employee and sometimes removal in repeated schedule delays.. In my particular case, I am a USPS employee and have worked as a carrier ( on the street ) for about 28 years.

Restrooms are not always available to us. And if any are, it requires a drive to and from the restroom location which can cost on average 15 minutes of delay. Since this is rarely possible to make up that time, Myself, and most likely others, will just resist any urges for restroom usage until ending our tour.

This should better clarify my overall situation and why I have come to ask this particular medical question.
Another symptom I've been having which my intuition tells me is tied to the colon issue, is an extreme sensitivity to sunlight. I notice when the colon complications flare up ( pain, inflammation, obstruction ), the sunlight sensitivity flares up as well. I will discuss the symptoms of this as follows:

As I begin on the street, Things are usually fine with my eyes and vision for the first hour or two. If a bit hazy or overcast, I can usually make it through the entire day. But on very bright days, I will begin to strain very hard against the glare of the sun in order to read addresses. I will later start feeling dizziness, Next symptom will be nausea, sometimes followed by vomiting,, If I continue to stay in the sun, I will next begin to start loosing balance, then become extremely fatigued, and feel as if I will faint, On days the condition goes this far, By the time I'm off work in the evening, I end up going right to bed sometimes with a migraine head ache which may last a couple of days. Along with this I usually cannot eat due to the feelings of nausea. Takes 2 to 3 days of rest to recover when things go this far.

BTW ...I did see eye doctor, had exam, got prescription glasses and sun glasses. But they didn't seem to help much if at all with the sunlight sensitivity issue.
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Answered by Dr. Anil Parth Desai (4 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Do Not worry and try to enforce good dietary habits

Detailed Answer:
Hi I did review your concern.
Let us start with problem no1
1) Tortuous colon is a more often incidental finding on colonoscopy. As you rightly said it may occur due to improper dietary habits and frequent events of forced constipation. Straining at stool often causes this problem over a period of time. However, studies also show that Tortuous colon can just be a variant form of colon present since birth, a congenital anatomical variant. We call it a variant here since it hardly causes any symptoms. However when it causes problems like bloating or pain and problems in defecation, symptomatic relief is probably the best solution here. The acquired tortuous colon can be partially reversed with proper dietary and bowel movement habits. I can understand your job precludes you from doing that but probably eating fiber rich diet like salads, bananas, mangos, peach, etc at night will help you pass a bowel movement first thing in the morning and relief for full day. Also drink some lukewarm water or milk before going to toilet, it works for most people as it initiates a quick gastrocolic reflex.
2) Now problem no 2. it seems that you might be predisposed to what we call heat exhaustion. It can vary from people to people as some people lose lot of water in bright sun and get dehydrated and loose salts causing hyponatremia(so need 1-2days to recover),leading to feeling fatigued,nausea, faint and headache due to low cerebrospinal fluid and even loss of balance.
For this my advice would be to keep a bottle of water mixed with a pinch of salt and a tablespoon of sugar (home made oral rehydration syrup) and keep on sipping it. It will help you maintain your water and salt and glucose, which are basic fuels you need to go on while you are working.
I hope this helps for you.
DO let me know if you have any more questions for me, i will be more than happy to help to the best of my ability
Wish you a healthy and happy life ahead.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Shanthi.E
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Answered by
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Dr. Anil Parth Desai

Pathologist and Microbiologist

Practicing since :2009

Answered : 593 Questions

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Suggest treatment for tortuous colon

Brief Answer: Do Not worry and try to enforce good dietary habits Detailed Answer: Hi I did review your concern. Let us start with problem no1 1) Tortuous colon is a more often incidental finding on colonoscopy. As you rightly said it may occur due to improper dietary habits and frequent events of forced constipation. Straining at stool often causes this problem over a period of time. However, studies also show that Tortuous colon can just be a variant form of colon present since birth, a congenital anatomical variant. We call it a variant here since it hardly causes any symptoms. However when it causes problems like bloating or pain and problems in defecation, symptomatic relief is probably the best solution here. The acquired tortuous colon can be partially reversed with proper dietary and bowel movement habits. I can understand your job precludes you from doing that but probably eating fiber rich diet like salads, bananas, mangos, peach, etc at night will help you pass a bowel movement first thing in the morning and relief for full day. Also drink some lukewarm water or milk before going to toilet, it works for most people as it initiates a quick gastrocolic reflex. 2) Now problem no 2. it seems that you might be predisposed to what we call heat exhaustion. It can vary from people to people as some people lose lot of water in bright sun and get dehydrated and loose salts causing hyponatremia(so need 1-2days to recover),leading to feeling fatigued,nausea, faint and headache due to low cerebrospinal fluid and even loss of balance. For this my advice would be to keep a bottle of water mixed with a pinch of salt and a tablespoon of sugar (home made oral rehydration syrup) and keep on sipping it. It will help you maintain your water and salt and glucose, which are basic fuels you need to go on while you are working. I hope this helps for you. DO let me know if you have any more questions for me, i will be more than happy to help to the best of my ability Wish you a healthy and happy life ahead.