What is constipation, it’s reasons and treatment?

What is constipation?

One problem with constipation is stools. Constipation is sometimes indicated by less than three stools per week or difficulties passing the stool. Constipation happens quite a bit. Low consumption of dietary fiber, water, and physical activity can lead to constipation. But other health problems or specific drugs might be the cause.

To relieve constipation, nonprescription drugs or dietary and exercise changes are typically utilized. To alleviate constipation, a doctor may prescribe medication, medication modifications, or other therapy.

Long-term constipation, also referred to as chronic constipation, may need treating another ailment or condition that could cause or worsen constipation.

What is the prevalence of constipation?
You’re not the only one who has constipation. Constipation is among the most prevalent gastrointestinal problems in the United States. Every year, at least 2.5 million people seek medical attention due to constipation.

What are the reasons for constipation?

Each has a unique pattern of bowel movement. The typical range is three times per day to three times per week. It’s crucial to know what constitutes normal for you as a result. Stools moving through the colon, sometimes referred to as the large intestine, too slowly typically cause constipation. If it goes slowly, the body absorbs too much water from the stool. Stools can become stiff, dry, and difficult to pass.

Lifestyle factors

Slow stool movement may be caused by the following conditions:

  • Verify that you are consuming adequate water.
  • Make sure your diet contains enough fiber.
  • Exercise on a regular basis.
  • Use the restroom whenever the urge to pass feces arises.

Medication

Constipation is a possible adverse effect of some drugs, particularly opioid opioids. Among the numerous drugs that can cause constipation are several that are used to treat the following conditions:

  • Seizures due to pain
  • increased blood pressure
  • disorders of depression that impact the nervous system
  • allergies
  • problems with the pelvic muscles
  • The muscles that support the organs at the base of the torso are known as the pelvic floor muscles. It is necessary to be able to bear down and relax these muscles in order to pass feces from the rectum. Weakness or poor coordination in these muscles can cause chronic constipation.

Obstructions in the colon or rectum

Changes or injury to the tissues of the colon or rectum can block the transit of stool. Additionally, cancers in the colon, rectum, or adjacent organs may cause an obstruction.

Additional elements

Many diseases can affect the way that the hormones, muscles, or neurons that control bowel movement operate. Chronic constipation can be linked to a number of issues, including:

  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Diabetes, sclerosis, multiplex damage, or nerve dysfunction
  • Another term for an overactive thyroid is hyperthyroidism.
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Mothering
  • There are instances where the reason of chronic constipation is not known.

What is the diagnosis for constipation?

The tests a doctor orders will depend on the duration and severity of the constipation, as most individuals experience it occasionally. The doctor will also take the patient’s age, any blood in the stool, any recent changes in bowel habits, and any weight loss into account.

Possible diagnoses for constipation include

  • Medical Background

The doctor will require information about your symptoms, such as the duration of the condition, the frequency of bowel movements, and other specifics, in order to help determine the cause of your constipation.

  • Physical evaluation

A physical examination may also include a digital rectal examination (DRE), in which the doctor uses a gloved and lubricated finger to feel the tone of the muscle that closes off the anus. Additionally, this examination helps to detect any rectum growth, pain, blockage, blood, and the quantity and caliber of feces.

An additional diagnostic test could be an abdominal X-ray or a lower gastrointestinal (GI) series, also called a barium enema. A lower GI series involves examinations of the rectum, the large intestine, and the lower part of the small intestine. Barium is a metallic, chemical, chalky substance that is injected into the rectum via an enema to coat organs and make them visible on X-rays. Radiographs of the abdomen show strictures (narrowed areas), blockages, and other problems.

Colonoscopy

A colonoscopy provides a complete view of the large intestine to the doctor and is commonly used to find bleeding, ulcers, inflammatory tissue, and abnormal growths. To insert a colonoscope, a long, flexible, lighted tube must be passed through the rectum and into the colon. A doctor can examine the colon’s lining with a colonoscope, remove tissue samples for further examination, and possibly treat any problems that are discovered.

Sigmoidoscopy

A physician’s examination of a portion of the large intestine during a diagnostic procedure known as a sigmoidoscopy can help identify the cause of irregular growth, bleeding, constipation, diarrhea, and stomach pain. A short, flexible, lighted tube called a sigmoidoscope is inserted into the colon through the rectum. The scope blows air into the intestines to expand it and make it easier to view within.

Examination of the colonic transit system

This examination shows how quickly food moves through the colon. The patient takes capsules that when seen on an X-ray, contain microscopic markers. The patient follows a high-fiber diet during the test, and three to seven days after the capsule is swallowed, many abdominal X-rays are taken in order to monitor the markers’ passage through the colon.

Anorectal function tests. These tests detect constipation caused by abnormal rectum or anus function.

How is constipation treated?

Based on the following information, your doctor will choose the best course of treatment for constipation:

  • Your age, overall health, and medical history
  • The degree of sickness severity
  • Your tolerance for specific medications, therapies, or operations
  • Expectations regarding the course of this sickness

The most popular treatments for constipation are dietary and lifestyle changes because they both lessen symptoms and can prevent the condition entirely. Potential therapy plan:

  • Diet adjustments

A 20 to 35 gram daily fiber intake helps promote the formation of soft, viscous stools. While whole grains, lentils, and bran cereals can help boost the amount of fiber in the diet, so can meals like fresh fruits and vegetables. Limiting high-fiber meals such as processed foods, ice cream, cheeses, and meats can also be helpful.

  • Laxatives

Laxatives may be administered if dietary and lifestyle changes are ineffective. Taking out or changing a prescription

  • Biofeedback

Biofeedback is used to treat chronic constipation caused by anorectal dysfunction. During this treatment, the muscles that control the release of bowel motions are retrained.

It may be helpful to change one’s lifestyle to include getting more exercise, drinking more water and juice, and setting aside time each day for bowel movements.

What negative effects could constipation have?

Two problems that might come from constipation are hemorrhoids, which are caused by straining to pass stool, and anal fissures, which are cracks in the skin surrounding the anus caused by hard stool stretching the sphincter muscle. This could lead to rectal bleeding.

Straining can also sometimes lead to rectal prolapse, a condition when a little part of the intestinal lining protrudes from the anal hole. Constipation can also result in fecal impaction, which mainly affects children and the elderly. Hard stool is crammed into the rectum and intestine to such an extent that the colon’s natural pushing activity cannot get rid of it.

Symptoms and indicators

Symptoms of constipation include:

  • fewer than three weekly excretions
  • dry, hard, or clumpy stools
  • difficult or painful to pass,
  • a feeling that some excrement is still there,
  • a feeling of blockage in the rectum
  • It is deemed chronic constipation if two or more of these symptoms last for three months or longer.

When to see a doctor?

If any of the following conditions are causing your constipation, make an appointment with your doctor:

  • Symptoms that last longer than three weeks
  • Symptoms that make going about regular chores difficult difficult rectum hemorrhage or leaking on toilet paper
  • Your stools are bloody or dark.
  • Extra strange alterations to the stools’ shape or color
  • persistent stomach ache
  • Natural weight loss

Risk factors

The following factors could increase your risk of experiencing chronic constipation:

  • Being an adult with maturity
  • Being a woman
  • exercising infrequently or never
  • having a mental disease, such as an eating disorder or depression.

Prevention

The tips that follow can help you avoid constipation.

  • Eat a lot of whole grains, legumes, fruits, veggies, and other high-fiber foods.
  • Reduce your intake of low-fiber foods such processed meals, dairy products, and meats.
  • Remain hydrated at all times.
  • Keep up your activity and regular workouts.
  • Give in to the urge to urinate.
  • Make disposing of garbage a regular, especially after meals.

FAQs

The following are frequently asked questions related to constipation that you too many have.

Can internal damage or other health issues result from constipation?

You may experience a few issues if you don’t have regular, gentle bowel motions. Among the difficulties are:

  • Hemorrhoids are enlarged, irritated veins in your rectum.
  • Anal fissures are tears in the lining of your anus caused by hardened stool attempting to pass through.
  • A disease called diverticulitis affects the pouches (diverticula) that occasionally grow off the wall of your colon due to stool that has become stuck and inflamed.
  • Much excrement accumulated in your rectum and anus (fecal impaction).
  • Straining to move your bowels can cause damage to your pelvic floor muscles. These muscles aid in bladder control, among other functions. Urine leakage from the bladder can result from prolonged and excessive exertion (stress urinary incontinence).

Is it possible for my body to accumulate toxins and become sick from constipation?

Usually, this isn’t the case. Your colon is an expandable receptacle for your waste, even though it may feel uncomfortable and hold on to stool longer when you’re constipated. Toxins can only seep into your body through the walls of your colon during a severe disease (toxic megacolon).

When should I visit my medical professional?

Speak with a medical professional if:

  • For you, constipation is a novel issue.
  • Blood is visible in your feces.
  • You’re inadvertently losing weight.
  • Your bowel movements are really painful for you.
  • You’ve experienced constipation for longer than three weeks.
  • You have symptoms of outlet dysfunction constipation.

What questions should I ask my healthcare provider?

  • Why am I constipated?
  • What can I take for immediate constipation relief?
  • What home remedies for constipation do you recommend?
  • What should I eat or drink to prevent constipation?
  • How else can I prevent constipation?

How many bowel motions does someone need to experience constipation?

The quantity of bowel motions is not the sole indicator of constipation. Some of the patients who come to us with constipation have a bowel movement at least once a day, while others have no problems at all and only use the restroom every two or three days.

Constipation is the subjective expression of a condition of discomfort; in certain people, it mostly shows itself as trouble passing gas, necessitating physical assistance, or the use of suppositories. Some people experience infrequent bowel movements, whilst others have regular bowel motions daily, but the feces are difficult or unpleasant to pass. A patient should see a doctor to get a diagnosis and the best course of action if they have one or more of these symptoms on a regular basis.

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