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Intestinal Pain Causes

There are various diseases and disorders that can lead to intestinal pain. Read on to know all about the various causes of intestinal pain.
Intestinal pain is defined as pain that is originating from either the small or the large intestine. Often, people get confused between intestinal pain and abdominal pain, however, intestinal pain is only one of the causes of abdominal pain, as abdominal pain can occur due to problems with the gastrointestinal or the genitourinary system. Thus, most gastrointestinal disorders lead to pain in the intestine and abdominal region. Intestinal pain will vary in nature and intensity depending upon the underlying factors responsible for it, as sometimes the cause maybe local and sometimes it maybe systemic in nature. Given below are the various intestinal pain causes.

Intestinal Spasms
Intestinal spasms is one of the most common causes. These abdominal spasms are characterized by colicky pain. The exact cause that spurs on intestinal spasms is not known. Sometimes, the spasms may occur due to chronic indigestion. It may also occur if the person has hormonal imbalance or if he or she ingests something that is difficult to digest. Sometimes, intestinal spasms may also be idiopathic in nature. Another condition called irritable bowel syndrome, which is also known as spastic colon, may also lead to intestinal spasms. In this condition, there is frequent spastic movement of the intestine, which leads to not only sharp intestinal pain but also quick passage of food, due to which the food is not absorbed properly.

Constipation and Diarrhea
Although constipation and diarrhea are two diseases that are exact opposites of each other, they are one of the most frequently seen intestinal pain causes. Constipation is the condition where there is less of water for reabsorption from the large intestine, or there is too much of reabsorption of water from the large intestine, which leads to the passage of hard and painful stools. Diarrhea, on the other hand, is a condition where there is passage of very watery stools due to frequent bowel movement and it may lead to severe dehydration.

Intestinal Parasites
Intestinal parasites are one of the causes that are commonly seen in people that have a diet high in non-vegetarian food as one of the most common portals for intestinal parasites is undercooked meat. These intestinal parasites can also enter the body if one drinks water that is infected by them. Other than pain, other intestinal parasites symptoms include abdominal pain, constipation, myositis, chills, fever etc. In intestinal parasitic infestations, there is often pain after eating.

Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis
There are certain inflammatory diseases that may affect the lining of the intestine and colon, which are normally seen to be autoimmune in nature. Such diseases include Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. The exact cause, as to what triggers this kind of an inflammatory reaction in the intestine is not known.

Appendicitis
Appendicitis is the inflammation of the appendix, a small vestigial organ that is connected to the cecum. This is a relatively common condition seen which can occur due to many factors, like obstruction of the appendix, ulceration of the appendix, bacterial infection etc. This condition often leads to right side intestinal pain which is sharp shooting in nature. The best alternative to dealing with such pain is to go in for an appendectomy surgery.

Other Causes
There are many other relatively uncommon intestinal pain causes, like diverticulitis, food allergy, lactose intolerance, food poisoning, excessive gas and bloating, chronic indigestion, celiac disease, intussusception, ischemic bowel, lactose intolerance, intestinal flu, intestinal ulcers, colon cancer, etc.

The most important part when it comes to dealing with intestinal problems is diagnosing them properly. For this, many things are taken into consideration, like the patients history and the symptoms exhibited, before a final diagnosis is reached, only after which a detailed treatment plan is chalked out to deal with the disease.
By Dr. Sumaiya Khan
Published: 2/1/2010
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