Colon or large intestine’s main function is to absorb water and other nutrients from the food particles and storing the stool before expelling it. The term ‘tortuous’ means twisted or bent. Tortuous colon can be described as a condition in which the colon gets severely twisted and forms loops at many places causing intestinal blockage and pain. In medical terms, tortuous colon is called as redundant colon which means the existing length of the colon is superfluous and unnecessary and it can be accommodated in the space available only by having extra loops and twists.
Some people are born with tortuous (twisted) colon but for others it develops as a gradual process due to improper diet. Deficiency of fiber in the diet can lead to constipation causing more strain to pass the stool. Over a long period of time, excessive strain in the digestive tract can extend its length leading to the formation of loops and twists at several places.
The symptoms of tortuous colon are similar to that of any gastrointestinal problems. It can cause bloating or fullness of stomach, excessive gas, heartburn, stomach cramps and constipation. In the long term, accumulated toxins of the colon can cause skin rashes since they cannot be expelled freely from the rectum.
The doctor cannot identify tortuous colon simply by the symptoms alone since all the above signs are indicative of many GI problems. Hence he may request for colonoscopy test to get clear picture of the colon.
An ideal way to prevent tortuous colon formation is to include diet rich in fiber. Eating more fiber food can reduce the extra stress you put on the colon while expelling the stool. Drink plenty of water; include fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet regularly.
Based on your symptoms and condition if your colon, your doctor would prescribe laxatives to soften the stool. This will reduce constipation considerably. Eat foods with high fiber content and you can also take supplementary fiber in the form of powder or pill daily.