COLESTYRAMINE
C
treat severe cases of
diverticular disease
(in w hich abnormal pouches form in
the colon w all); to cut out a cancerous
tumour
(see
colon, cancer of
) ;
or to
remove a narrowed part of the intes-
tine that is causing a blockage to the
passage of faeces.
Total colectomy is performed to treat
severe cases of
ulcerative colitis
,
when
the condition cannot be controlled by
drugs. It may also be performed on
individuals w ith familial polyposis (see
polyposis, familial
) ,
an inherited condi-
tion
in
w hich
large
numbers
of
growths develop in the colon.
HOW IT IS DONE
In a partial colectomy, the diseased sec-
tion of the colon is removed, and the
ends of the severed colon are joined. A
temporary
colostomy
(w hich allows the
discharge
of faeces
from
the
large
intestine through an artificial opening
in the abdominal wall) may be needed
until the rejoined colon has healed.
In a total colectomy, the whole of the
large intestine is removed, either with
or without the
rectum
.
If the rectum is
removed,
an
ileostomy
(sim ilar to a
colostomy, but using the small intes-
tine) may be performed.
RECOVERY
The colon usually functions normally
after a partial colectomy. But in a total
colectomy, the large intestine’s ability
to absorb water from faeces is reduced;
this can result in diarrhoea.
Antidiar-
rhoeal drugs
may therefore be required.
colestyramine
A
lipid-lowering drug
used to treat some
types of
hyperlipidaemia
(very high lev-
els of fats in the blood). It is also used
to treat diarrhoea in disorders such as
Crohn’s disease
.
colic
A term that means “ pertaining to the
colon” .The term “colic” also refers to a
severe, spasmodic form of abdominal
pain that occurs in waves of increasing
intensity.
(See also
biliary colic
;
colic,
infantile
;
renal colic
;
colic, uterine.
)
colic, biliary
See
biliary colic
.
colic, gallstone
Another term for
biliary colic
.
colic, infantile
Episodes of irritability and excessive
crying in otherwise healthy infants. The
condition is thought to be due to mus-
cle spasms in the intestines.
A baby that suffers an attack of colic
cries or screams incessantly, draws up
his or her legs towards the stomach,
and may become red in the face and
possibly also pass wind. The baby w ill
not respond to norm al methods of
comforting, such as feeding or cud-
dling. Colic often tends to be worse in
the evenings; the symptoms may also
be made worse by tiredness or stress.
Colic can be very distressing, but it is
harmless. Usually, The condition first
appears at the age of three to four
weeks, and it clears up without treat-
ment by the age of
12
weeks. Carers
should seek medical help, however, if
additional symptoms,
such as fever,
develop, or if they are finding it diffi-
cult to cope with the baby.
colic, renal
See
renal colic
.
colic, uterine
Cramping
abdominal
pains
that
are
usually associated with menstruation.
(See also
dysmenorrhoea
. )
coliform bacteria
A group of rod-shaped
bacteria
that
inhabit the intestine. Coliform bacteria
include E
scherichia
and other genera
that are sometimes associated with gas-
trointestinal illnesses.
colistin
One of the
polymyxin
group of
antibiotic
drugs
.
Colistin is used in
topical
prepa-
rations for eye and skin conditions. It
may also be given orally to destroy bac-
teria in the large intestine, in people
who
are
particularly
susceptible
to
infection. In addition, colistin may be
used in a
nebulizer
in order to treat lung
infections. The drug is used only to
treat infections that are
resistant to
other antibiotic drugs because it is
toxic and may cause damage to kidney
and nerve tissue.
colitis
Inflammation of the
colon
.
Colitis caus-
es diarrhoea, usually containing blood
and
mucus.
Other
symptoms
may
include abdominal pain and fever.
CAUSES
Colitis is a feature of the inflammatory
bowel disorders
ulcerative colitis
and
Crohn’s disease
.
It may also be associ-
ated with other conditions that cause
inflammation in the colon or rectum,
such as
diverticular disease
or
proctitis,
or
with cancer (see
colon, cancer of).
In
addition, it may result from infection
with various types of microorganism,
such as
campylobacter
and
shigella
bacte-
ria, viruses, or
amoebae.
One form of
colitis may be provoked by
antibiotic
drugs;
the drugs destroy bacteria that
normally live in the intestine and allow
C
iostridium
difficile
, a bacterium that
causes irritation, to proliferate.
DIAGNOSIS
Investigations into colitis may include
examination of a sample of faeces for
micro-organisms or for obvious or hid-
den blood (see
faecal occult blood test);
sigmoidoscopy
or
colonoscopy
(viewing
of the inside of the colon);
biopsy
(tis-
sue sampling) of the inflamed areas or
ulcers; and a barium enema (see
barium
X-ray examinations).
TREATMENT
If the cause is an infection, antibiotics
may be needed. Crohn’s disease and
ulcerative colitis are treated with
corti-
costeroid
and
immunosuppressant drugs
,
together with a special diet.
collagen
A tough, fibrous
protein.
Collagen is the
body’s major structural protein, form -
ing an important part of
tendons
,
bones
,
and
connective tissue.
collagen diseases
See
connective tissue diseases.
collapse
A nonmedical term for a state of pros-
tration
or
extreme
exhaustion.
The
word “ collapse” may also be used to
describe a fainting fit or loss of con-
sciousness. The medical term
circulatory
collapse
refers to a life-threatening con-
dition in w hich the blood no longer
circulates effectively.
collarbone
The common name for the
clavicle
.
collar, orthopaedic
A soft foam or stiffened device that is
w orn around the neck to relieve pain
or give additional support.
Colles’ fracture
A break in the
radius
(one of the bones
of the forearm) just above the wrist, in
w hich the wrist and hand are displaced
backwards, restricting movement and
causing swelling and severe pain. The
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