Spastic colon: What does it mean?
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Nov 3, 2022.
Spastic colon is a term that's sometimes used to refer to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a common disorder characterized by abdominal cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, constipation and diarrhea.
The term "spastic colon" describes the increase in spontaneous contractions (motility) of muscles in the small and large intestines associated with IBS. These contractions are sometimes called spasms. However, there are several reasons why people with IBS may experience symptoms, and hence the term "spastic colon" isn't an accurate synonym for IBS.
The cause and severity of IBS varies from person to person. Treatment is aimed at relieving symptoms and may include changing your diet, increasing physical activity, reducing stress and, for some people, taking anticholinergic medications to help treat spasms.