Redundant / Tortuous Colon

Posted by onaquest @onaquest, Nov 7, 2018

Hello. Anyone else out there that has a redundant/ tortured colon? I was diagnosed with this a few years ago. I’m usually ok, but if I get constipated, I get sick for a week or two. Last year my gastroenterologist referred me to a surgeon for urgent surgery to remove some of my colon. The surgeon I ended up seeing (not on the recommended list by my gastro doc due to others not available for a long time) said he believed I could live with the redundant colon if I followed a low FODMAP diet. I tried the diet religiously, scientifically (I’m a scientist), and I found it’s not the food I eat that causes these bouts of constipation. The only item I’ve found that might cause the bouts is coffee every day. An occasional coffee seems fine. What has helped me stay regular in a big way is Benefiber (or any pure wheat dextrose generic) three times per day. Lots of fluid.

My gastro doc was upset with the surgeon and said I’d regret not having the surgery. He fears I will end up in an emergency situation. I have searched the Mayo site and don’t find anything about redundant/ tortured colon. Are any Mayo docs doing research or treat this condition? Anyone else suffer from this too?
Thank you! -Jayne

Liked by gibssy174

@virginia44

Gibssy, I would be very cautious about taking that advice until you have researched the condition very carefully. They recommend surgery, but you can accept or decline that recommendation. Some people on this blog have had the surgery and it did not help. Other took different options for addressing the problem and have gained some stability.

Personally, I started following the Plant Paradox diet and I am about 75% better, and improving every day. The Plant Paradox diet, the Paleo Diet and the surgery are all controversial…strong opinions pro and con on all of these.

Take some time, sort out a few things for your own physiology.

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Ok, I am also doing some work to gather more information…i ll do it and then take a call…and I will keep my progress posted in this and the other discussion group I have started …thanku

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@virginia44

Gibssy, I would be very cautious about taking that advice until you have researched the condition very carefully. They recommend surgery, but you can accept or decline that recommendation. Some people on this blog have had the surgery and it did not help. Other took different options for addressing the problem and have gained some stability.

Personally, I started following the Plant Paradox diet and I am about 75% better, and improving every day. The Plant Paradox diet, the Paleo Diet and the surgery are all controversial…strong opinions pro and con on all of these.

Take some time, sort out a few things for your own physiology.

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Sir if I am not mistaken can I ask you how long u have been diagnosed with this redundant colon, and grossly what are the major things to avoid in diet that you find personally important to reduce symptoms?And was your symptoms somewhat similar to me Sir?…

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@oceanone

Dear @gibssy174: i am faced with your exact situation but I am 74 years old: to have to go through this at your age should never happen you have all my sympathy. Because of the risks involved with the procedure & the lack of guaranty that my symptoms will disappear I have decided to first try & work with a nutritionniste it is a lot of work to keep track of everything you eat every day to find out what you react to but it is better than surgery which would mean you would end up with a new anatomy which is the unknown & not necessary better.. could be worst! You must remember that stress plays a big role with IBS for sufferers such as ourselves. So stress reduction must be part of the solution (meditation exercise etc. etc.). After you have given a good try to these things if they do not work (I bet they will..) then you may consider surgery after knowing PRECISELY what you are getting into. The best of luck & keep us posted I will do the same

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Ok sir, I am also doing some work to gather more information…i ll do it and then take a call…and I will keep my progress posted in this and the other group also sir…thanku

Liked by Lisa Lucier

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@oceanone

Dear @gibssy174: i am faced with your exact situation but I am 74 years old: to have to go through this at your age should never happen you have all my sympathy. Because of the risks involved with the procedure & the lack of guaranty that my symptoms will disappear I have decided to first try & work with a nutritionniste it is a lot of work to keep track of everything you eat every day to find out what you react to but it is better than surgery which would mean you would end up with a new anatomy which is the unknown & not necessary better.. could be worst! You must remember that stress plays a big role with IBS for sufferers such as ourselves. So stress reduction must be part of the solution (meditation exercise etc. etc.). After you have given a good try to these things if they do not work (I bet they will..) then you may consider surgery after knowing PRECISELY what you are getting into. The best of luck & keep us posted I will do the same

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Thanks for ur words sir,,we will fight it together..

Liked by tiss

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I was diagnosed two years ago. Symptoms are diarrhea and stomach cramps. I found that stopping all whole grain food was a huge help. Felt better within 48 hours. Also started with yogurt every day and some kefir every day to get the max dose of probiotics. Eat mostly root veggies like carrots, sweet potatoes, etc. to get fiber. Also avocados and mushrooms for fiber.

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@gibssy174

Hello , I am 27 years old male, very athletic build and does regular physical activity, but i have always had this problem of bloating and sense of incomplete evacuation and constipation since i was 18 yrs old, many of the consultation ended up describing it as irritable bowel syndrome and prescription of laxatives and fibres which didnt help at all. But I recently underwent colonoscopy and was diagnosed with redundant sigmoid colon and they say I have to have a surgery to improve my symptoms. Being young and the sole bread winner for my family, I am devastated. I am ready to undergo the procedure but I am being informed that the result is not guaranteed and there may be worsening of symptoms. I am lost, if anyone out there with similar problems post or pre surgery please do share ur views to help me out…thankyou

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I was diagnosed in my 30s with a long, tortuous colon and had life long constipation problems. I am now 63. Three years ago I had a bowel obstruction cause from a previously unknown bowel deformity– rotated cecum. I had to have emergency surgery and part of my intestines were removed. I had no choice, it was a very life threatening situation. But, it has been a HARD recovery. It's a very major surgery and you are altered forever, for better or worse. Before this happened, I had chronic constipation and had some luck with the constipation with magnesium and vitamin c supplements. Just my opinion, but exhaust all avenues before resorting to surgery. Should be a lady resort. Get lots of opinions from GI drs. There are many new meds out for constipation predominant IBS. Also get tested for SIBO. Very common with chronic constipation. And remember, if you get opinions from surgeons, they will want to do surgery so be careful. Latest studies show that colectomies due to chronic constipation just change one set of problems for another, are not always successful and there are many, many risks with this surgery. Good luck!

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@gibssy174

Hello , I am 27 years old male, very athletic build and does regular physical activity, but i have always had this problem of bloating and sense of incomplete evacuation and constipation since i was 18 yrs old, many of the consultation ended up describing it as irritable bowel syndrome and prescription of laxatives and fibres which didnt help at all. But I recently underwent colonoscopy and was diagnosed with redundant sigmoid colon and they say I have to have a surgery to improve my symptoms. Being young and the sole bread winner for my family, I am devastated. I am ready to undergo the procedure but I am being informed that the result is not guaranteed and there may be worsening of symptoms. I am lost, if anyone out there with similar problems post or pre surgery please do share ur views to help me out…thankyou

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like

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@sandyabbey

I was diagnosed with Torturous redundant colon during a difficult scope after a very painful episode. This scope was done after I passed out from pain & then diarrhea & vomiting. I thought it was a virus because I felt some better the next morning. Then I had lots of blood during my BM so I went immediately to the Dr.. I was sent for CT scan where I was diagnosed with is ischemic colitis. I had some diverticulosis & a polyp removed. My GI told me it was a difficult scope due to to much colon. He didn’t recommend surgery. I then got Cdiff 8 months later after being given an antibiotic, clindamycin for a sinus infection. I’m always afraid I’ll need another scope & it will be bad.

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I have tortuous colon too. In May I will have my third special colonoscopy at Mayo Scottsdale. They put me under with general anesthesia and use a pediatric scope. I also do a two day prep, so I have two nights of spending time in the hotel bathroom. I hope this helps.

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Hello , I am 27 years old male, very athletic build and does regular physical activity, but i have always had this problem of bloating and sense of incomplete evacuation and constipation since i was 18 yrs old, many of the consultation ended up describing it as irritable bowel syndrome and prescription of laxatives and fibres which didnt help at all. But I recently underwent colonoscopy and was diagnosed with redundant sigmoid colon and they say I have to have a surgery to improve my symptoms. Being young and the sole bread winner for my family, I am devastated. I am ready to undergo the procedure but I am being informed that the result is not guaranteed and there may be worsening of symptoms. I am lost, if anyone out there with similar problems post or pre surgery please do share ur views to help me out…thankyou

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I read on a Harvard website that the length of the colon does not matter regarding constipation and not to remove a section of the colon. The article was from 2014. (You must sign up for a paid account to read the article. You might be able to read the article the first time but subsequent attempts require an account. Google for this website called health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/Chronic_constipation_reconsidered) Any thoughts?

"Length doesn't matter

Doctors used to think that having an extra-long colon led to constipation. It doesn't. Study results vary, but the normal length seems to range from 4 to 6 feet.

In early 2005, a group of specialists debunked myths and misconceptions about constipation in an article written for the American Journal of Gastroenterology. Here is some of what they had to say:

1. Constipation isn't caused by an extra-long colon. People used to have their colons surgically shortened and sometimes removed entirely because doctors thought an elongated colon caused constipation. The theory was that a long colon would prolong "stool residence time." It was wrong and doctors stopped performing the operations decades ago, but the idea that colon length is associated with constipation still lingers."

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@rdm1956

I read on a Harvard website that the length of the colon does not matter regarding constipation and not to remove a section of the colon. The article was from 2014. (You must sign up for a paid account to read the article. You might be able to read the article the first time but subsequent attempts require an account. Google for this website called health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/Chronic_constipation_reconsidered) Any thoughts?

"Length doesn't matter

Doctors used to think that having an extra-long colon led to constipation. It doesn't. Study results vary, but the normal length seems to range from 4 to 6 feet.

In early 2005, a group of specialists debunked myths and misconceptions about constipation in an article written for the American Journal of Gastroenterology. Here is some of what they had to say:

1. Constipation isn't caused by an extra-long colon. People used to have their colons surgically shortened and sometimes removed entirely because doctors thought an elongated colon caused constipation. The theory was that a long colon would prolong "stool residence time." It was wrong and doctors stopped performing the operations decades ago, but the idea that colon length is associated with constipation still lingers."

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Makes sense. I’ve had an elongated colon for a number of years, but it was never a problem until I started getting constipated from my medication. One doesn’t cause the other, but they’re a troublesome combo, I find. Hard stool gets hung up in the twists and turns. No picnic.

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Need Help with my Redudant Colon

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@tracy430

I recently had colon resection for diverticulitis. Since then, I have no urge to have a bowel movement unless I take Linzess and Milk of Magnesia. My surgeon disregards my concerns and I'm terrified that if these things stop working, I'm going to end up in the ER. I've lost a lot of weight and I didn't have a lot to lose. I drink a lot of water. I try adding more fruits and vegetables. Nothing works. I have zero motility. At times I'll get bloated to the point that I don't want to eat and need to take Gas-X, but honestly, this is no way to live. This surgery was supposed to "give me my life back". It hasn't.

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I don’t know if it will help or not but I’ve found that 100mg of 5-HTP first thing in the morning and before bed help with my motility. And like @tiss I take 450-100mg of magnesium citrate or oxide daily. I have tortured colon and have suffered with chronic constipation my entire life. There are also some probiotic strands that help with motility.

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@jennb

Hi-I was recently diagnosed with torturous colon as well. It makes sense since Menopause I’ve experienced worse IBS symptoms. My doctor told me to add ground flaxseed to my diet and I can say this works really well! I sprinkle it ontop of food -you really don’t taste it- and it keeps me regular and stools are easy to pass. I had two polyps so I’m waiting for my results but not worried. Anyway ground flaxseed is definitely the trick for me -very high in fiber.

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Agree on flax seed. Chia seeds also seem to have same effect for me.

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@kanaazpereira

Hi @onaquest @flguy @carcar,

A redundant colon is an abnormally long colon, especially in the final section (called descending colon). A redundant colon also has additional loops or twists. Other names for a redundant colon include tortuous colon or elongated colon. https://www.healthline.com/health/redundant-colon
I’m tagging @darlia and @rsinger22 who've written about redundant colon, and they may be able to share their experiences.

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I was diagnosed in 2010 with tortuous colon which was discovered during a routine colonoscopy. I have had very few problems until the beginning of 2019 when I began developing severe muscle spasms in my lower left abdomen and lower left back. I cannot think any other reason why these spasms would occur other than a result from the tortuous colon. I have also had severe constipation which I cannot find relief for. Has anyone else had anything similar happen?

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