Constipation happens when bowel movements are less frequent and stool becomes difficult to move. This is typically because of changes in diet and routines, as well as because of the insufficient amount of fiber. Consult your doctor in case you are experiencing extreme pain, bloody stool, or constipation which lasts more than 3 weeks.
Constipation: What does it mean?
A bowel that is less than three every week is technically, the definition for constipation. However, the frequency at which you “go” differs between individuals. Certain people experience regular bowel movements every day, while others experience them just a couple of times every week. Whatever your bowel movements pattern is, it’s distinctive that you are not unusual, insofar as you don’t wander away from your normal routine.
Whatever your bowel habits regardless of the bowel movement, one thing is for sure that the longer prior to having to “go,” the more difficult it is for stool or poop to go. Other important characteristics that typically identify constipation are:
- Your stool is dry and hard.
- Your bowel movement can be uncomfortable and your stools are difficult to get rid of.
- You feel that you’ve not completely gone through your organs.
How prevalent is constipation?
There is no one else to blame in experiencing constipation. Constipation is among the most frequently reported gastrointestinal issues across the United States. It is estimated that 2.5 million patients visit their physician each year for constipation.
Everyone are susceptible to experiencing occasional bouts of constipation at times. There are some people and circumstances which are more likely to cause a tendency to become more regularly constipated (“chronic constipation”). This includes:
- Ageing is a factor in. People who are older tend to be more inactive, possess a lower metabolism, and have lower muscle contraction strength in their digestive tracts than their age was younger.
- As a female, particularly when you are pregnant, or after having a child. Women’s hormones change and cause them to be more susceptible to constipation. The baby in the womb is able to squeeze the intestines and slows the process of stool.
- Insufficient consumption of high-fiber foods. High-fiber foods help to move food through the digestive tract.
- Certain medications are taken (see the causes).
- Being affected by specific nervous (diseases of the spinal cord and brain) and digestive problems (see the causes).
What causes constipation?
Constipation is caused by the fact that your colon is able to absorb excessive amounts of water from the waste (stool/poop) and it dries out the stool and makes it tough to keep in place and hard to get out of your body.
To go back a little as food moves throughout the intestinal tract and is absorbed, nutrients are taken in. Food that is partially digested (waste) which remains is moved through the small intestine and into the large intestine. It is known as the colon. The colon absorbs the water from this debris, which forms the solid matter known as stool. If you suffer from constipation, your food could be moving too slowly through your digestion tract. This gives the colon extra time – way more time to soak up fluids from the waste. The stool is dry, hard and is difficult to get out.
Constipation can cause internal damage or trigger other health issues?
There are several issues that can occur when you don’t have smooth regular constipation. The most common complications are:
- Inflamed, swollen veins within the rectum (a condition known as hemorrhoids).
- There are tears in the inside of your anus can result come from hardened stool trying to traverse (called anal fissures).
- The pouches are infected and often develop from the colon’s wall, resulting from stool that has become stuck as well as infected (a condition known as diversticulitis)
- A build-up of excess stool/poop in the rectum as well as anus (a condition known as fecal impaction).
- The pelvic floor is damaged muscles as a result of straining to move your bowels. The muscles are responsible for controlling your bladder. If you strain too much for a long period of time can result in urine leakage from your bladder (a condition known as pressure urinary incontinence).
Is it true that regular movements of bowels cause toxins to accumulate within my body, which can make me sick?
However, it usually isn’t the situation. Even though your colon holds more stool when you’re constipated and you might feel uncomfortable your colon can be expanded to accommodate your waste. There’s a chance of a possibility of developing a bacterial infection when waste is deposited into an open wound within the rectum or colon.
SYMPTOMS, CAUSES AND OTHER REASONS
What is the cause of constipation?
There are a variety of causes for constipation: life choices, medications or medical conditions, as well as pregnancy.
Common causes of constipation are:
- Foods that are high in fiber.
- Insufficient water intake ( dehydration).
- Insufficient exercise.
- The routine you have been following is changing Like traveling or eating out or going to bed at different time.
- Drinking large amounts of cheese or milk.
- The urge to bowelize.
Medicines that may cause constipation are:
- Painkillers that are strong, such as the narcotics with codeine in them and the oxycodone (Oxycontin(r)) as well as hydromorphone (Dilaudid(r)).
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen (Advil(r), Motrin(r)) and naproxen (Aleve(r)).
- Antidepressants include Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors that are selective (like the fluoxetine [Prozac(r)[Prozac(r)]) and tricyclic antidepressants (like amitriptyline [Elavil(r )]).
- Antacids that contain aluminum or calcium like Tums(r).
- Iron pills.
- Allergy medication, like antihistamines (like diphenhydramine [Benadryl(r )]).
- Certain blood pressure medications include calcium channel blockers (like verapamil [Calan SR], diazem [Cardizem(r)and nifedipine [Procardia(r)[Procardia(r)]) along with beta-blockers (like atenolol [Tenormin(r )]).
- Psychotherapeutic medications such as Clozapine (Clozaril(r)) along with Olanzapine (Zyprexa(r)).
- Anticonvulsant/seizure medications, such as phenytoin and gabapentin.
- Antinausea medications, like ondansetron (Zofran(r)).
Constipation can be caused by a variety of medications. Consult your physician or pharmacist for any questions or questions.
Health and medical conditions which can lead to constipation include:
- Endocrine disorders, such as an hypothyroidism ( hypothyroidism), diabetes, hypercalcemia, the hypercalcemia.
- Colorectal cancer.
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
- A condition that is characterized as diverticular.
- Outlet dysfunction constipation. (A problem with the pelvic floor muscle coordination. These muscles support organs of the pelvis and lower abdomen. They help remove stool.)
- Neurologic disorders , such as spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease as well as stroke.
- Lazy bowel syndrome. The colon is not well-contracted and keeps stool.
- Obstructing your bowel.
- The digestion tract (like fistula, volvulus, colonic atresia intussusception imperforate anus as well as malrotation.)
- Many organ disease, like amyloidosis, lupus as well as the dreadful scleroderma.
What are the signs of constipation?
Constipation symptoms include:
- You experience less than three bowel movements per week.
- The stools you pass through are soft, hard, or dry.
- It is difficult or difficult to get rid of.
- There is a stomachache or cramps.
- You’re bloated and feel nauseated.
- You aren’t sure if you’ve fully emptyed your bowels following an exercise.
DIAGNOSIS and TESTING
What do I need to be expecting when I speak to my doctor regarding constipation?
Discussing with your doctor or any other person about your stool movements (or the absence of them) isn’t the most enjoyable of subjects. Be assured that your doctor will be there to help you. Doctors are health professionals trained who have discussed almost every aspect of health you could imagine with their patients.
Your doctor will then inquire regarding your medical history, bowel movements as well as your routine and daily life.
These questions may include:
- Are there any current or recent health conditions or diseases?
- Have you shed or gained some weight in the last few months?
- Do you have any prior procedures for the digestive tract?
- What medicines and supplements do you use for other ailments and constipation relief?
- Do you know of any family members who have constipation , or other digestive tract diseases or an ancestry or colon cancer?
- Have you ever had a colonoscopy?
Bowel movement history
These questions may include:
- How often do you experience an abdominal movement?
- How do your stools appear like?
- Have you seen any red or blood streaks of stool?
- Have you ever noticed any blood on the inside of your toilet or in the paper towel after wiping?
Routines and lifestyle habits
- What kind of food and beverages do you consume and drink?
- What’s your workout routine?
Your doctor may also perform an examination of the physical, which includes a thorough examination of your vital indicators (temperature as well as pulse and blood pressure). They will utilize the stethoscope in order to detect the sound that your abdomen makes. The abdomen is also examined for signs of swelling, tenderness, pain and lumps.
It is important to know that your doctor may also conduct an exam of the rectal. This is a hand examination to examine the interior of your rectal. This is a quick test for any problems or masses that are felt with the fingers.
What lab tests or other medical tests can be performed to determine the root of my constipation?
The doctor may make no-test orders or other kinds of testing and treatments. The choice of what tests your doctor will recommend to you is based on the symptoms, medical history and general health.
Tests for labs: Blood and urine tests show indications of hypothyroidism, anemia and diabetic issues. A stool sample will be examined for evidence of inflammation, infection as well as cancer.
Tests for imaging: Computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging(MRI) or the lower gastrointestinal tract series could be performed to determine other issues that may cause constipation.
Colonoscopy The procedure of colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy- an internal image of your colon using the aid of a scope carried out. In this procedure an insignificant amount taken from your tissue (biopsy) could be taken to check the presence of cancer and other conditions and any polyps found will be eliminated.
Colorectal transit studies These tests involve taking only a small amount of a radioactive ingredient that is either in pill form or as meals, and monitoring both the time spent and the way in which the substance travels through the digestive tract.
Other tests to determine bowel function: Your doctor may conduct tests to determine the capacity of your rectum and anus are able to hold and release stool. These tests may include a particular kind of x-ray (defecography) performed to determine the cause of constipation due to outlet dysfunction, and the introduction of a tiny balloon inside the rectum (balloon expulsion test ) and the anorectal manometry).
Treatment and Management
What is the treatment for constipation?
The majority of cases of mild to moderate constipation are easily managed at your home. Self-care begins by making a list of the things you consume and drink and making adjustments.
Some suggestions to help ease your constipation are:
- Drink between two and four additional glasses of water per day. Avoid alcohol and drinks that contain caffeine as they can cause dehydration.
- Include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and other high-fiber food items to your daily diet. Avoid high-fat food items such as eggs, meat and cheese.
- Consume bran cereal and prunes.
- Keep a diary of your food intake and eliminate foods that cause constipation.
- Move around, do some exercise.
- Be sure to check how you sit while using the bathroom. Leaning your feet up, bending back, or squatting could cause bowel movements to be simpler.
- Include a prescription-only supplemental fiber supplement to your daily diet (like Metamucil(r), Citrucel(r) or Benefiber(r)).
- If you are in need, consider taking a mild over-the counter stool softener, or the laxative (such such as Docusate [Colace(r) as well as milk from Magnesia(r)). Mineral oil enemas, such as Fleet(r) and stimulant laxatives such as bisacodyl (Dulcolax(r)) or Senna (Senokot(r)) are alternative alternatives. There are numerous laxative options. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist to help you make an informed decision. Avoid using laxatives for longer than 2 weeks without consulting your physician. Laxatives that are used too often can aggravate your symptoms.
- Don’t read, use your smartphone or other devices while you try to empty your bowels.
In addition to self-care techniques The doctor will look over your medication and supplements (if you are taking any). Certain products may cause constipation. Should they trigger constipation physician could alter the dosage, change to another medication or ask you to quit using the product. Don’t stop taking your medication or supplements without speaking to your physician first.
Certain prescription medications are available to treat constipation. They include the lubiprostone (Amitiza(r)), Prucalopride (Prudac(r), Motegrity(r)), plecanatide (Trulance(r)), Lactulose (Cephulac(r), Kristalose(r)) and the linaclotide (Linzess(r)). Your doctor will select the medicine that will work most effectively for you based from the test results.
Surgery is seldom required to alleviate constipation. Your physician may, however consider surgery in the event of constipation caused by an issue with the structure of the colon. Some of these issues include obstruction of the colon (intestinal obstruction) and a narrowing of part of the colon (intestinal stricture) or a rupture of the anus (anal fissure) or the collapse of a portion of the rectum into vagina (rectal prolapse). The causes of outlet dysfunction constipation are treated by surgery. It is recommended to discuss this issue after the test. It is possible to undergo surgery when cancer is detected in the colon, rectum or anus.
How can I avoid constipation?
Utilize the same methods at home that you employed to treat constipation in order to stop this from turning into a permanent issue:
- Take your way to a healthy, balanced diet with lots of fibre. Fiber-rich foods include vegetables, fruits, legumes as well as whole grain breads and cereals. Water and fiber help the colon to pass stool. The majority of fiber from fruits is contained in the skins, like in apples. Fruits that have seeds that you can consume, such as strawberries, contain the most fiber. Bran is a good food source for fiber. Consume bran cereal, or add it to other meals, such as yogurt and soup. Constipated people should consume between 18-30 grams of fiber each throughout the day.
- Take eight 8-ounce glasses of water per each day. (Note milk may cause constipation for some people.) The liquids that contain caffeine like soft drinks and coffee, may cause dehydration. It may be necessary to cut off these drinks until you can return your bowel movements to normal.
- Exercise regularly.
- Manage mild constipation by taking an dietary supplement such as magnesium. (Not all people should use magnesium. Consult your physician prior to taking.)
- You should move your bowels whenever you are feeling the desire. Don’t wait.
When should I contact my doctor?
Contact your health care provider If:
- Constipation can be a new problem for you.
- You can see the blood of your stool.
- It is not your intention to lose weight.
- There is severe pain when you have stool movement.
- The constipation you experienced lasts longer than three weeks.
- You are suffering from symptoms of constipation due to outlet dysfunction.
Make sure you talk freely and openly with your physician about your bowel movements as well as any concerns or questions you might have. We must all be doing. Constipation can be temporary but it could also be an indication of a larger issue. Make sure you are safe. Consult your physician, particularly in the event that you’ve noticed changes in your bowel habits or if you feel your life is being controlled by your colon.
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