Nutritional Deficiency Due To Colon Disorders

If you are concerned about the possibility of suffering nutritional deficiencies brought about by disorders of the colon, here are some facts that may help you better understand how this can occur and what you can do to help prevent unwanted health issues that may be linked in some way.

The Colon's Function

Since the main job or function of the colon (or large intestine) is to re-absorb water and mineral salts (eg sodium and chloride) from undigested food substances, no major nutrients are actually formed or absorbed in that part of the digestive tract. The small bowel and stomach are the organs where majority of digestion and absorption process occurs in our body.

However, disorders of the large intestines may have an adverse effect the absorption processes in the stomach and the small intestines, which can result in certain nutritional deficiencies. Such disorders may include infectious conditions, inflammatory disorders or colon cancers.

The early detection of the problematic disorders and prompt treatment can relieve most of the symptoms associated with them. Malnutrition is generally corrected once the disorders of the colon resolves. However, supplementation may be required in some cases when adequate results are not achieved.

Some Causes of Malnutrition

The large intestine can be affected by numerous disorders that may cause nutritional deficiency in certain areas. Let's take a look at the more common issues.

Infection and Inflammation

Infections of the colon caused by micro-organisms such as bacteria are generally associated with diarrhea. Such infections often result from the consumption of contaminated food or other fluids.

The infectious micro-organisms can often disrupt the normal functioning of the colon along with that of the stomach and small intestines. The absorption of food is affected and the digestion process also goes haywire owing to altered bowel habits and other associated symptoms.

Bleeding from the rectum is also commonly noted in some severe infections. Diarrhea is generally associated with increased loss of body fluids and nutrients to a certain extent.


Inflammatory disorders are a collection of disorders that are commonly associated with inflammation of the cells and tissues of the large intestine and at times that of the small intestine and stomach also. Inflammatory bowel disease is a common inflammatory disorder which includes conditions such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.

Both these disorders are associated with symptoms such as abdominal pain or cramping, diarrhea and malnutrition. Other symptoms and signs include fatigue, weight loss, loss of appetite, loss of body fluids and nutrients.

Another factor noted with such inflammatory disorders is bleeding from the rectum. In moderate to severe cases of inflammatory disorders, increased bleeding may lead to deficiency of iron in the body resulting in iron deficiency anemia

The altered bowel habits, increased diarrhea and decreased food intake all together result in the occurrence of malnutrition.

Cancer and Cancer Therapies

Cancer of the colon is many a time associated with nutritional disorders. This may be due to the loss of appetite, diarrhea, bleeding from the rectum or altered absorption of nutrients. In some cases wherein the cancer has spread widely, a section of or even the entire large intestine may have to be removed surgically.

This disrupts the normal digestive process wherein the re-absorption of water and salts may occur at a much lower level than with the presence of cancer. In some advanced cases of cancer in this part of the body, the nearby structures such as parts of the small bowel may also need to be surgically removed.

The employment of therapeutic procedures such as radiotherapy and chemotherapy also has an effect on the normal health of the individual and the absorption process.

Some Beneficial Tips that May Help to Prevent Malnutrition:

Here are some helpful tips that you may find useful in helping to prevent the problem of malnutrition occurring:

Prevention is always better than cure in most cases of problematic disorders. If you are concerned about your own health, it may be wise to perform a simple colon cleanse detox through a change of diet or supplements that can make a difference without surgery or harsh medical treatments becoming necessary.

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