So, What is Colonic Inertia?

Constipation can be a highly frustrating and uncomfortable symptom, but this can be magnified in people with colonic inertia. Not knowing why or what is causing severe constipation can be a daunting and lonely experience too. For people with Colonic Inertia, go to the doctors and take the advice of eating high fibre diets, this is a wrong move and will not help the situation, instead make it worse.

digestive-systemSimply put, Colonic Inertia is to do with a slow bowel transit. The bowel is designed to move waste through the small intestine and once reaching the large intestine,  extracts important fluids for the rest of the body to use. Now, in most people this works fine as  the average transit time for people with a fully functioning bowel, takes approximately 55 hours from consumption to elimination. However for people with a slow bowel transit time, this can take anywhere from 3-4 days, resulting in constipation. This means the bowel holds on to the feacel matter for too long, leading to dehydration of the stool and resulting in a hard to pass bowel movement.

Why is my bowel slow?

The bowel moves food along in wave-like motions for a while, then pauses to carry out the dehydration process. These wave-like motions are triggered by the nervous system, which sends messages to specific cells, called ‘interstitial cells of Cajal’, which tells your colon to contract, hence the wave-like motions.

People with Colonic Inertia have a deficiency in these cells, in some parts of the colon, creating slow movement or no movement at all. As a result there is no message, which make Colonic Inertia a neurological condition.

What Causes Colonic Inertia?

A lot of work is still needed to be done, in order to understand the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of this condition. But scientists have some indication as to what could be the cause.

Diabetes plays a role in the nervous system, in turn damaging the cells within the body including The Cajal cells.

If Congenital Colonic Inertia its likely you have had toilet troubles since a kid. It is to do with the development within the womb. Our nervous system is developed from our top to our toes, in some babies part of this process in interrupted, as to why is unknown. Another area could also mean that a member of your family has something similar. Ask around your family to see is mum or grandma may have had digestive troubles.

Laxative abuse can also effect the workings of the nervous system within the gut. Using stimulant laxatives for long periods of time have shown results of sluggish bowel movement.

Women who have given childbirth or had a hysterectomy can lead to cell damage.

Infectious agents also play a part in why you could have this condition.  They can effect the detraction of the nervous system.

Age. Getting older is part of life and all areas of our body begin to slow down and your gut is no exception.

So what can I do?

The Bad news is, unfortunately no diet or exercise will help cure you of Colonic Inertia, it is part of who you are and thats all there is to it. This is an internal physiological deficiency that you have.

The good news is by learning to make your life more comfortable and normal can be done through careful diet, understanding your body and getting regular exercise. Management is the key to living a happy fulfilled life just like everyone else. Trust me if I can do it, you can too. 

Please remember I’m not a doctor of any kind and the information on this site is advisory only, you must always consult a qualified physician prior to dramatic lifestyle changes or if you have any cause for concern about your own well-being.

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