Colon Conditions Endemic in Older Adults

Jul 30th, 2010 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Another of those wicked conditions has reared its ugly head and created discomfort and challenges for managing.  It is called lymphocytic colitis.  This and collagenous colitis are “inflammatory conditions of the colon that cause chronic , non-bloody, watery diarrhea.” Incidentally, it is likely to come with a very urgent need to find a toilet very quickly and to be ready for explosive attacks which leave you and the toilet in a mess.  Not pretty.  Not always conveniently predictable.  And certainly difficult to deal with if/when there is no way to clean yourself or surroundings. 

This condition is therefore one that requires remaining in circumstances where you have ready access to a toilet and being able to control your situation accordingly.  It is a condition more prevalent in older adults, and collagenous colitis is more common in women than in men.   

The good news is that the condition can be treated.  There are medications which address the condition and there are disciplines that can help quell it.  Lifestyle changes are the first order of the day when dealing with this condition.  Adjusting diet may be enough to resolve symptoms. However, that may also need to be joined with some medications.  My situation has required two medications that work together to keep the symptoms managed.  The condition needs to be diagnosed with a colonoscopy. 

In both these conditions, the signs and symptoms are virtually identical, according to a summarazied report from Mayo Clinic.  The signs and symptoms of these conditions include:  

+Chronic diarrhea

+Abdominal pain or cramps

+Abdominal bloating (distention)

+Modest weight loss (not a recommended way to lose weight)

+Nausea

+Fecal incontinence

+Dehydration

The Mayo Clinic report recommends seeing a doctor if you have watery, non-bloody diarrhea that lasts more than a few days.  The cause of collagenous colitis and lymphocytic colitis has not been identified.  So far, the good news is that there is no evidence either of these diseases increases the risk of colon cancer or death.  In order to be adequately prepared for an appointment with your physician there are several detailed suggestions made in the Mayo report.  In order to secure a full copy of that report go to http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/collagenous-colitis/DS00824/METHOD=print.  This will enable your full readiness for a productive encounter with your physician and getting at the details which will help expedite dealing with the condition.



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