ZocdocAnswersCan one's colon cause nausea?

Question

Can one's colon cause nausea?

My father used to have a lot of bowel troubles, and the doctor diagnosed him as having a spastic colon. I've never had troubles with digestion, but I do have nausea from time to time that seems inexplicable. Could it be that I alsoi have problems with my colon and that's causing the nausea?

Answer

Nausea is a common condition in people of all ages. Colon troubles are also common, especially in the elderly. There are some colon problems that can cause nausea, but there are also non-colon problems that can cause it. Regardless, I would encourage you to talk to you doctor as there are some serious causes of nausea that should be ruled out. The gastorintestinal tract is a continuous series of tubes: starting at your mouth, down the esophagus (food pipe) to the stomach, to the small intestine followed by the large intestine (also known as the colon) and then finally to the rectum. Problems at any level can result in nausea. Some colon causes of nausea include-- (a) constipation--decreased motility in the colon can cause "backing up" of GI contents that result in nausea (b) IBS or irritable bowel syndrome--which is a specific colon motility disorder that can resul in nausea, constipation and diarrhea (c) colon cancer--a narrowing of the colon by the mass can cause backing up or (d) IDB or inflammatory bowel disease which is inflammation in the lining of the colon. There are many other causes of nausea--including small intestine or stomach problems. Also more generalized problems like medicine effects, food allergies (such as lactose intolerance), reflux can all result in nausea. Obviously infections anywhere in the system can cause nausea. I recommend seeing your doctor.

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