What Is Tortuous Colon, Elongated Colon, Overlapping Colon, and Redundant Colon?

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Are you suffering from chronic belly aches that keep popping you constantly? It may also be a sign of tortuous colon, colonic volvulus, or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

The colon is our large intestine, consisting of ascending colon, transverse colon, descending colon, sigmoid colon, and also rectum. Therefore, ascending colon connects our large intestine to the small intestine, and the rectum connects it with the anus. Similarly, the colon is usually involved in absorption and its loaded vitally important bacteria complete the remaining digestion process.

The colon’s regular biological measurement is 47-60 inches in length. Suppose this length is exaggerated due to any cause. In that case, you will have an elongated colon that will start overlapping side-by-side or increase in tortuosity to accommodate the smaller space in your abdominal cavity. Hence the name tortuous colon or elongated colon or overlapping colon or redundant colon. (1)

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  • Colonic Volvulus

    Colonic volvulus is the most severe form of the tortuous colon, which is also termed obstructed colon. Further, it is characterized by more tight and short loops of the colon that results in bowel obstruction. The symptoms will also worsen with nausea, vomiting, abdominal swelling, Malena, and had not passed stool in the previous three days. (2)

    How Do You Get It?

    The redundant colon is a rare phenomenon, and genetic predisposition is the only leading cause for its genesis. Besides, other causes that may result in the tortuous colon are a misnomer. (3)

    Are Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) And Tortuous Colon Similar Conditions?

    The evidence concluded that irritable bowel syndrome and tortuous colon are two different health conditions. Still, there may be a direct proportion as the symptoms of both of these conditions are similar to each other, due to which overlapping colon may predispose irritable bowel syndrome. (4) (5)

    How Can It Be Presented?

    Clinical Presentation Of Tortuous Colon

    Most of the patients experience no symptoms and remain undiagnosed for the rest of the life until they get any other colonic abnormality. But some of the cases may have the following symptoms.

    • Abdominal distention and pain
    • Abdominal muscle cramps
    • Flatulence
    • Bloating and gas
    • Severe Constipation
    • Impacted bowel (5)

    How Can We Diagnose Tortuous Colon?

    Tortuous or redundant colon accidentally get diagnosed by an x-ray, ultrasound, or colonoscopy to diagnose another health problem.

    Colonoscopy can be replaced by other diagnostic options such as C.T scan, colonography, sigmoidoscopy, double-contrast barium enema, and or endoscopy. (6)

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  • What Are The Treatment Options?

    Overall, research evidence concluded that tortuous colon and diverticulosis are the two colonic conditions for which underlying cause, prevention, and treatment options are not fully comprehended. (2) (7)

    If you are diagnosed but still asymptomatic, you need no treatment but good self-care. Firstly, take a high-fiber diet, stay hydrated, and immediately respond to an urge for defecation. 

    Medical Management

    As research believed that, there is not a particular treatment protocol for the tortuous colon. Whereas, your healthcare practitioner may suggest supportive treatment and over-the-counter medications.


    1. NSAIDS

    Surgical Correction

    Most cases don’t even require conservative treatment, but some severe cases may go through a “redundant colon surgical correction” to eliminate the severity of symptoms. (8) (9)

    Diet Tips For Tortuous Colon Patient

    1. Stay hydrated
    2. Eat a high-fiber diet, including
    3. Water
    4. Flaxseed
    5. Castor oil
    6. Whole grain
    7. Fruits
    8. Green leafy vegetables
    9. Lentils
    10. Beans
    11. Prunes juice

    Moreover, add supplemental fiber to your daily routine. (9) World Health Organization (WHO) recommends a daily intake of 25-30g of fiber from food. (10) So, it is important to review your diet plan whether your daily intake fulfills the daily fiber requirement; if not, then add some extra fiber diet or supplements in your daily diet plan. 

    If constipation is still an issue for you with an elongated colon, there is another medication option. All the natural or artificial remedies will either increase bowel contractions or add excess bulk to the stool to help ease the bowel movements.

  • What Are The Safety Measures?


    1. Always eat fresh homemade food so you may feel healthy.
    2. Then, make a healthy daily exercise habit, including a brisk walk, gentle stretching, and strengthening exercises. Similarly, create an exercise plan or seek the help of a trainer or physiotherapist to develop your exercise plan.
    3. You can also do gentle gym activities such as Treadmill, Recumbent bike, Multi-gym, Moveo-XP, and Cross-trainer depending upon your rating of perceived exertion (RPE level).


    1. Avoid processed or junk food.
    2. Also avoid pulses in your diet because these may increase the intensity of bloating and flatulence. 
    3. Don’t consume caffeine and beverages.
    4. Say no to alcohol and smoking.
    5. Don’t do overexertion during defection and depend on the natural urge.


    Lastly, the prognosis is good; that’s why a tortuous colon is mostly considered a non-serious health issue. However, you may no longer feel distressed by knowing that a tortuous colon will not lead to colon carcinoma.

    However, If you are suffering from any of the above symptoms, you should receive immediate healthcare treatment. 

    At last, try no to get overstressed, and don’t be depressed. Above all, keep calm and follow a healthy diet and exercise plan. Also, don’t hesitate to share your experiences with our experts by scrolling down to the comment section if you are going through the above symptoms or have been diagnosed with a tortuous or redundant colon.

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    1. Cuda, T., Gunnarsson, R., & de Costa, A. (2017). The correlation between diverticulosis and redundant colon. International journal of colorectal disease, 32(11), 1603–1607.
    2. Cuda, T., Gunnarsson, R. & de Costa, A. The correlation between diverticulosis and redundant colon. Int J Colorectal Dis 32, 1603–1607 (2017).
    3. Southwell B. R. (2010). Colon lengthening slows transit: is this the mechanism underlying redundant colon or slow transit constipation?. The Journal of Physiology, 588(Pt 18), 3343. 
    4. Redundant Colon.  
    5. Tortuous Colon and IBS: Overlap and Information.  
    6. Gladman MA, Scott SM, Lunniss PJ, Williams NS (2005) Systematic review of surgical options for idiopathic megarectum and megacolon. Ann Surg 241(4):562–574.
    7. de Gregorio, M. A., Mainar, A., Rodriguez, J., Alfonso, E. R., Tejero, E., Herrera, M., Medrano, J., & D’Agostino, H. (2004). Colon stenting: a review. Seminars in interventional radiology, 21(3), 205–216.
    8. Colon Resection.  
    9. what is the redundant colon? diet and treatment tips to follow.
    10. Healthy diet. 
    We will be happy to hear your thoughts

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