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Functional colopathy


Functional colopathy is a condition that affects the colon and causes digestive problems. This condition is characterized by abdominal discomfort associated with:
About 8% of the Western population suffers from functional colopathy, especially the female population. Functional colopathy is very similar to irritable bowel syndrome; these two diseases are probably intertwined.


Functional colopathy affects the entire digestive tract and can therefore affect the stomach and small intestine as well as the colon itself. Symptoms include:
  • bloating
  • more loose stools and / or more frequent bowel movements (more than 3 per day/diarrhea)
  • harder or less frequent bowel movements: about 3 days without a bowel movement (constipation)
  • alternating diarrhea-constipation,
  • relief of abdominal pain after defecation.


The diagnosis of functional colopathy is often made by elimination. It is nevertheless possible to diagnose when at least two of the above criteria are present for at least 3 months (not necessarily consecutive) over a year:
  • abdominal pain relieved by defecation,
  • modification of stool consistency in the early painful periods,
  • change in stool frequency at the beginning of painful periods.

An objective bloating, feeling of incomplete emptying or extensive efforts reinforce the diagnostic criteria.


Dietary measures are recommended with the cutting out of fermentable foods like cabbage to prevent overproduction of gas or the increasing of fiber in one's diet coupled with ample hydration to reduce constipation. The main goal of treatment of irritable bowel syndrome is to relieve symptoms. Antispasmodics may be used to reduce pain.


There is no way to prevent the onset of functional colopathy since no one knows exactly what causes it.

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