Home HealthTopics Health Centers Reference Library Research
Join us on Facebook Join us on Facebook Share on Facebook

Diet and Nutrition

Tortuous Colon

10/01/2010

Question:

Hello, I have just had a colonoscopy to find out why I had a hugely bloated stomach, and an x-ray to reveal fecal compaction (even though I do relieve my bowels at least once a day), and the colonoscopy came back as a tortuous colon.

After three days of fasting my tummy was finally flat again, but on resuming eating (anything) it starts to bloat. I eat what I thought was a very good, healthy diet full of fresh fruit, vegetables and meats, very little processed or high fatty foods, and desserts etc. I drink at least 2 litres of water a day throughout the day, and am an active 40 year old woman. I am at a loss as to what sort of diet I may now need to follow. Any assistance would be appreciated. Kindest regards.

Answer:

A high fiber diet has been found to help treat a tortuous colon.  Choosing high fiber foods will help create softer, easier to pass stools.  When increasing fiber in your diet think carbohydrates (plant foods), do it slowly, and be sure to drink plenty of fluids with it (otherwise you may experience gas pains and other GI symptoms).  High fiber foods include whole grain products (including whole wheat bread, high fiber cereals, whole wheat or multigrain pastas, oats, barley, and rye), vegetables, fruits, and legumes (beans, lentils).  Meats, milk products, and fats do not have fiber.

The food label can help.  Be sure to read the label to see how much fiber a product will give you per serving.  Cereals and breads, for example, vary a great deal in the amount of fiber provided.   The recommendation for fiber is to get about 25 grams per day (if eating 2000 calories/day), yet the "average American" gets much less - probably due to choosing too many processed/highly refined foods. 

If the change in diet alone does not help, your doctor may also recommend trying psyllium (Metamucil or similar products) since this is also a soluble fiber. 

I hope this helps!  Good luck.

For more information:

Go to the Diet and Nutrition health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Jane   Korsberg, MS, RD, LD Jane Korsberg, MS, RD, LD
Senior Instructor of Nutrition
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University