Intestinal cramps can be defined as abnormal and irregular movement of intestine which result in discomfort. Human intestine normally performs rhythmic contractions of the muscles and these are known as peristaltic movements. There are many causes which disrupt peristaltic movements. This results in intestinal cramps.
Everyone has suffered from intestinal cramps at least once in a lifetime. Intestinal cramps may be the only problem one is complaining about or they can accompany some other symptoms. Having intestinal cramps basically means that there is something going on in the intestine. Sometimes they occur as a consequence of chronic exposure to stress while their presence in certain cases may point to more serious medical conditions.
Causes of Intestinal Cramps
Tapeworm infection occurs after ingestion of food or water contaminated with tapeworm eggs or larvae. Infestation with this parasite is typically accompanied by intestinal cramps and a patient additionally complains about nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and fatigue.
Constipation is another possible cause of intestinal cramps. People suffering from constipation do not eliminate stool regularly and once the stool has accumulated it may induce abnormal movements of the intestine which tries to eliminate the hardened feces and eventually leads to intestinal cramps. Intestinal cramps may also occur in people who treat constipation with laxatives.
Irritable bowel syndrome is a medical condition which apart from other symptoms features with intestinal cramps. This illness is usually caused by stress, allergic reaction to certain foods and hormonal imbalances and elimination or proper coping with previously mentioned can reduce or even eliminate intestinal cramps.
Another cause of intestinal cramps is a condition known as green stool. It features with rapid passage of the food through intestine and this is the reason why the color of the stool is not proper. It typically occurs in diarrhea, may be a side effect of certain medications, and may occur due to bacterial infection or food poisoning and it also affects people who are taking iron supplements. Ulcerative colitis as well as celiac disease is also potential cause of green stool.
And finally, intestinal cramps affect people suffering from a Cronh's disease.
Treatment for Intestinal Cramps
In case intestinal cramps are caused by tapeworm's patients are prescribed antiparasitic medications such as praziquantel or nitazoxanide. Intestinal cramps caused by Crohn's disease can be brought under control by certain anti-inflammatory medications such as mesalanine, sulfasalazine and corticosteroids. Patients may additionally require antibiotics and vitamin B 12, vitamin D, and calcium supplements.
Intestinal cramps caused by constipation may be reduced or even eliminated once the patient changes dietary regimes and starts taking more foods rich in fiber. Even increase of physical activity can be of additional help for patients suffering from constipation.
And finally, irritable bowel syndrome is basically treated with dietary and lifestyle changes.