Spastic Colon – How Spastic Colon is Diagnosed

Spastic colon is a condition where there is increased, spontaneous contractions of intestinal muscles (both small and large intestine). These contractions are also called spasms. However, it is not always correct to use “spastic colon” for IBS as IBS may also be associated with decreased motility of intestinal muscles, unlike spastic colon.

In this article we shall discuss how spastic colon is diagnosed.

Diagnosis of Spastic Colon

The process of diagnosing spastic colon is actually ruling out of all other conditions that mimic spastic colon. It is a process of exclusion. If these tests are negative then symptoms are tested accordingly to Rome II guidelines. Following diseases are to be ruled out to accept a diagnosis of spastic colon:

  • Bowel obstructions
  • Inflammatory bowel disease like Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis
  • Gallstones
  • Diverticulitis / Diverticulosis
  • Food allergies
  • Colon cancer
  • Celiac disease
  • Bacterial infections
  • Endometriosis
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Intestinal parasites

The next step is referring Rome II guidelines for the symptoms of IBS. IBS can be diagnosed based on at least 12 weeks in preceding 12 months, of abdominal pain that has two out of three of these features:

  • Relieved with defecation.
  • Onset of spasm associated with a change in frequency of stool.
  • Onset of spasm associated with a change in form or appearance of stool.

The above process of exclusion need to be unquestionably done to agree for a spastic colon diagnosis. This requires a physical examination and following tests:

  • Blood tests for gluten intolerance
  • Blood and/or breath tests for fructose
  • Lactose intolerances
  • Complete blood count, blood chemistries and sedimentation rate
  • Breath test for small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)
  • Urinalysis
  • Stool for ovam blood and parasites
  • Liver function tests
  • Rectal exam
  • Abdominal x-rays
  • Colonoscopy
  • For women, complete gynecological examination

To learn more about the causes and symptoms of the discussed condition read our article, Spastic Colon – Symptoms and Causes of Spastic Colon.

Comments are closed.