Mega Colon
Mega Colon

Mega Colon: 3 Types, Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Complications

Mega colon is an abnormal dilation or enlargement of the colon or large intestine. Megacolon will cause the colon cannot remove stools and gas from the body so it accumulates in the colon.

Megacolon can be caused by various things, such as inflammation, bacterial infections, or congenital diseases, such as Hirschsprung’s disease in babies. Megacolon can also occur for no apparent reason, otherwise known as Oglivie syndrome. Widening of the colon due to megacolon can occur only temporarily or permanently.

Megacolon can cause symptoms of indigestion, such as abdominal pain, hardened stomach, fever, and bloating. Megacolon sufferers can be treated through surgery and administration of drugs to cure megacolon causes, such as antibiotics or corticosteroids.

Mega colon Types

Megacolon types is divided into three categories, namely:

  • Acute megacolon
  • Chronic megacolon, which include congenital, acquired, or unknown causes
  • Toxic megacolon

Megacolon symptoms

Symptoms of megacolon:

  • Flatulence and pain
  • Nausea
  • Prolonged constipation
  • Pain or pressure in the rectum

Symptoms of toxic megacolon:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Flatulence
  • Stomach pain when pressed
  • Fever
  • Fast heart rate
  • Shock
  • Severe diarrhea and can be accompanied by blood
  • Pain during bowel movements

Megacolon Causes

The cause of toxic megacolon is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The inflammation causes swelling and irritation of parts of the digestive tract. The condition can be painful and cause permanent damage to the colon and small intestine. Toxic megacolon can also be caused by infections such as Clostridium difficile colitis.

Toxic megacolon occurs when inflammation of the intestine causes the intestine to enlarge, dilate and swell. When this happens, the intestines cannot remove gas or impurities from the body. If gas and feces accumulate in the intestines, then the colon can rupture. Rupture of the colon can put lives at risk. If the intestine ruptures, bacteria that are usually in the intestinal cavity, will spread to the stomach.

Acute megacolon (pseudo-obstruction megacolon) can be caused by electrolyte imbalances, metabolic and hormonal disorders (hypothyroid and hyperparathyroid), certain treatments, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and infections.

Chronic megacolon can be caused by Chagas disease, Parkinson’s disease, diabetic neuropathy (neurological diseases caused by diabetes), amyloidosis, and congenital abnormalities (due to genetic or hereditary factors).

Megacolon diagnosis

In determining the diagnosis of megacolon, the doctor will conduct a detailed medical interview and a live physic examination. On a physical examination can be obtained a bloated abdomen.

Digital rectal examination can also be done by the doctor by inserting one finger into the anus, where it can be palpable the presence of a solid stool period.

In Hirschprung’s disease, which is one of the causes of megacolon, after digital rectal examination can be obtained the presence of stools that spray outside.

Certain supporting checks can also be performed to determine the cause of the megacolon that occurred, such as X-ray imaging or ultrasound.

Colonoscopy examination can also be done to get rid of any cause of obstruction or mechanical obstruction, if assessed as needed.

Megacolon treatment

There are several treatment options for mega colon condition, namely:


This therapy is one of the actions that can be done with megacolon condition. The types of surgery can vary, but are usually tailored to the patient’s needs.

Decompress method.

By using a rectal tube, which aims to reduce pressure on the stomach so that the pain can be relieved.


Used as a therapy for signs and symptoms that appear when megacolon condition occurs. Avoid treatment without any indication from the doctor. Please also note that not all drugs are safe to use for pregnant women / mothers in the period of breastfeeding, children, and the elderly.

Megacolon complications

If handled properly, megacolon can be cured completely. But if not handled properly, megacolon can cause complications in the form the onset of holes or tears (perforation) in the colon. Perforated colon can cause decreased consciousness, sepsis, and shock.

Thank you very much for reading Mega Colon Types, Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Complications, hopefully useful.


Last Updated on March 9, 2022 Reviewed by Market Health Beauty Team