A redundant colon is longer than normal due to additional loops in the descending part of the colon. People with a redundant colon tend to experience a slower transit time in expelling waste, resulting in chronic constipation. According to the World Journal of Gastroenterology, women are more likely to have a redundant colon.
If you have chronic constipation due to a redundant colon, making changes to your diet may help improve bowel regularity.
Constipation is different for everyone, but there are common symptoms. Constipation is characterized by having less than three bowel movements a week; difficulty moving your bowels 25 percent of the time; a feeling that you are unable to complete your movement 25 percent of the time; or having hard, lumpy stools 25 percent of the time. Having two or more of these symptoms for more than three months indicates chronic constipation and a redundant colon may be to blame.
A Helpful Diet
The key to alleviating constipation is making sure you get enough fluid and fiber in your diet. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Men need at least 38 grams of fiber a day, and women 25 grams.
In addition to fiber, you need to make sure you get enough fluids. How much you need depends on your daily activities and the climate in your area, but you should aim for roughly 64 ounces a day.
Water, broth-based soups and high-water content foods such as watermelon, oranges and cucumbers can help you meet your daily fluid needs. When adding fiber to your diet, do so slowly over a few weeks. Adding fiber too quickly can cause abdominal pain, gas and bloating.
Where's the Fiber?
Fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans are all good sources of fiber. Foods with at least 4 grams of fiber per serving include high-fiber ready-to-eat cereals, kidney beans, lentils, artichokes, raspberries and blackberries.
Foods with 1 to 3 grams of fiber per serving include whole-wheat bread, oatmeal, apples, oranges, pears, carrots, cooked broccoli, and popcorn. At breakfast, eat high-fiber cereals with fruit to meet your fiber needs. For lunch, make fresh fruit the sweet ending to your meal. At dinner, mix beans with your brown rice and add a salad to get more fiber.
Probiotics may be beneficial for helping alleviate constipation. Probiotics are microorganisms that provide a health benefit. While not specifically addressing redundant colon, researchers found that probiotics helped improve transit time through the colon and increased motility, according to 2014 research published in Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Nutrition. Probiotics are often found in fermented foods, such as kimchi and sauerkraut and yogurts that contain live and active cultures.
In addition to making sure you get enough fiber in your diet, you may also be able to relieve constipation caused by a redundant colon by including foods that act as natural laxatives. The mucilage and fiber found in flaxseeds helps improve bowel movement.
Prunes are also known to help you go. While prunes are a good source of fiber, the sorbitol and phenolic acids in the prunes are likely responsible for improving bowel function, according to the California Dried Plums Board. Drinking a glass of prune juice every day is also an option.
- Medical Dictionary: Redundant Colon
- The Journal of Physiology: Colon Lengthening Slows Transit: Is This the Mechanism Underlying Redundant Colon or Slow Transit Constipation?
- CMECorner.com: Managing Chronic Constipation: A Patient Guide
- American Dietetic Association: Nutrition Therapy for Constipation
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Flaxseed
- California Dried Plums Board: Frequently Asked Questions
- Iowa State University Extension Outreach: Fluids