Tortuous Colon

What is tortuous colon?

Tortuous colon is used to describe the condition when large intestine becomes longer than the usual. For adjusting in the allocated space in the abdomen, tortuous colon becomes more twisted. In this condition, the loops and bends in the colon is more and it looks like a tortuous. Sometimes too much bending or twisting obstructs the intestinal passage, and faecal material not excretes easily. This condition creates constipation problems and is also known as a redundant colon.

tortuous colon

Medically this condition is not a serious health problem unless it creates any complication in abdomen which includes pain, ache, spasm, distension or inflammation and severe constipation.

Symptoms of tortuous colon

The symptoms of tortuous colon are divided into two broad segments

  • GI tract related symptoms
  • Other organ related symptoms

GI tract related symptoms

GI tract associated symptoms are common with tortuous colon. These symptoms are quite similar with irritable bowel syndrome.

  • The abdominal cramp
  • Flatulence
  • Discomfort in abdomen
  • Motion is irregular
  • Due to blockage of the intestinal passage severe constipation, blood secretion during defecation, painful defecation and nausea.

Other organ related symptoms

Irregular bowel movement causes accumulation of toxic substances in blood and causes impurity in blood which can be noticeable by formation of pimples and acne in the skin. Sometimes it also causes skin rashes.

Causes of Tortuous colon

The causes of tortuous colon vary from person to person. The various possible causes of tortuous colon are:

  • Congenital abnormalities: Some people have longer and more twisted colon form the time of birth.
  • Insufficiency of dietary fibres: Dietary fibres are very essential for excretion of faecal materials. Inadequate supply of dietary fibres cause hard stool formation. Hard stool do not excrete easily and create: constipation, obstruct the passage of colon, generates pressure in the intestinal and rectal wall. All these associated aspects combine and enlarge the length of the colon
  • Disease: Chronic irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) also causes tortuous colon.

Treatment of Tortuous colon

The objective of treatment of tortuous colon is symptomatic relief as it is not a serious health problem. Home remedies and medications usually resolve the complications which are usually associated with tortuous colon. If the obstruction is severe and medications or other remedies are not applicable for reduction of the complexity, then surgery with proper medical attention may require. But this situation is rare in case of tortuous colon.

Home Remedies of Tortuous colon

  • Adequate water and fluid intake help to regular motion passage.
  • Diet with high fibres content can soften the stool and easy to excrete out. This also helps to reduction of strain in the intestinal passage.
  • Lemon juice with honey has several good effects in our body. Add lemon juice and one teaspoonful of honey in lukewarm water and drink it every morning on an empty stomach. This is really helpful for clearing the bowel.
  • Castor oil improves the bowel movement and reduces the stress in the intestinal wall.
  • Ispaghula husk is natural bulk forming laxative that helps to clear the bowel.


In case of chronic constipation and home remedies do not help to reduce the symptoms then different synthetic medications are available in the pharmacy stores which can be helpful to reduce the symptoms. It is always preferable to consult with doctor before starting the medication, as some of them are habit forming property. The usual medications may be stool softener, stimulant laxatives or increases the osmotic pressure in the intestinal wall. Some over the counter (OTC) laxative synthetic products are Metamucil, Citrucel, Colace, and Milk of Magnesia. Other than these other products which need physician’s prescription are:

  • Amitiza (lubiprostone): Stool softener
  • Linzess (linaclotide): Promotes intestinal movement
  • Lactulose: soften and loosen the stool and
  • Miralax, Glycolax: Osmotic laxative
  • In severe constipation glycerine suppositories is also used to clear the bowel.


When medication cannot solve the problem then only option is the surgical procedure with proper medical care. Colectomy is the surgical process to remove the large intestines. In tortuous colon this type of surgery is rare.



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