All About Constipation
Just about everyone has had some trouble using the bathroom at some point or other. If you are having a significant reduction in the amount of times you are having a bowel movement, there is not necessarily a cause for worry. Most often with more water and fiber intake the problem will go away all by itself. If not, an OTC laxative can also offer some relief.
But what if the problem doesn’t just resolve itself naturally and this uncomfortable situation becomes the norm rather than the exception? At what point does this stop being an issue that can be treated from home and one that requires a doctor’s expertise? All the answers to these questions and more will be found in the following article.
The most common cause for constipation is a severe lack of water in the digestive system that allows the stool to soften and move itself through the digestive tract. Another common cause is the muscles of the intestines themselves being too sluggish to move the stools through the digestive system and eliminate waste.
There is a possibility that a condition of constipation is indicative of a more serious problem in the gastrointestinal tract. Certain illnesses and disease have been known to cause constipation including Parkinson’s Disease, multiple sclerosis, thyroid disease, diabetes and stroke. IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) is a collection of various conditions of the gastrointestinal tract and typically includes constipation.
Another possibility is that your intestines are experiencing blockage due to a tumor or similar blockage of the intestinal tract itself. This could be a serious condition and it will be imperative to have your situation checked by doctor immediately. If allowed to continue without a remedy it is quite possible for the condition to worsen and become aggravated by the presence of rectal prolapse or hemorrhoids. This can happen when too much force is exerted on the anus.
Different individuals will experience constipation in different ways. For some people, it is simply an irregularity that can be frustrating at worst. For others, it can mean difficulty with passing particularly hard stools. It can also mean the feeling of not being quite finished after a bowel movement. The various causes of each different case can be very different and this is why a specific solution for each is needed if it is to be effective.
Constipation can also add to the troubles of diarrhea. This is particularly vicious pattern that occurs as a feature of the IBS condition. This occurs when a hard stool segment impacts itself at the far end of the rectum and inhibits the passage of waste. There can even be a small trickle of stool exiting the anus from around the blockage.
Another thing to remember is that the number of bowel movements that can be considered regular decreases with the passage of time. Normal can be a vary differing amount to, adults can have a regular bowel movement as few as three times a week or as many as 21 times. Most commonly adults will take one bowel movement a day, a habit found it 50% of the regular population. But the vast majority of the people are irregular and don’t have this many bowels movements in a day.
Medically speaking, constipation can be defined as less than three bowel movement in seven days. IF the situation has gotten as bad as one bowel movement per week, the constipation has reached severe levels.
There is no medial recommendation that says you should have a bowel movement each day, as a matter of fact going a few days without a bowel movement can cause no more discomfort so long as this is not a continuous pattern. This can cause mental distress in many individuals who may be under the misconceived notion that toxins build up in the body as the bowels move less frequently and that this can somehow lead to cancer.
Another important thing to understand is the difference between chronic constipation (long term) or acute constipation (recent onset). Acute constipation can be considered the more serious of the two as the cause could be a medical condition that works very quickly. Tumors of the intestine are one such example. The situation could be far more complex if the condition is accompanied by symptoms of extreme stress such as bleeding from the rectum, nausea vomiting, abdominal cramps or severe pain and even a sever loss in weight.
In conditions of chronic constipation, the evaluation may not be an urgent matter especially if regular efforts are being made to counteract the condition.
Constipation is a serious condition that affect the digestive tract and creates especially hard stools that will not be eliminated easily. When the condition is caused by lack of water, most commonly this is because the colon has absorbed and excessive amount of water from the stool before it is discharged and is now having a hard time expelling the stool. When this happens, attempting to expel the stool can be done but can also be very painful. This following article will cover some of the main causes of constipation and how they can be best avoided.
Most Common Causes of constipation
–Problems with the colon or rectum
–Lack of fiber in diet
–Irritable bowel syndrome
–Not going to the toilet when needed
–Changes in routine
–Overuse of laxatives
–Some diseases and conditions
–Not drinking enough water (dehydration)
As we discussed earlier in this article there are also a variety of medical conditions that can cause constipation. Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a condition in which the body expels hard and soft stools intermittently, this is often associated with intense abdominal pain.
This is a condition that can strike as early as infancy, ages 6 months to 3 years. Other health conditions that can lead to constipation include Hirschsprung’s disease which can also be present as early as birth. Ganglionic megacolon is another condition that can have serious consequences for the smooth running of the digestive tract. Adults who experience lack of mobility as well as those recovering from serious injury have also been known to develop constipation. Then diseases like Lupus, Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis can also cause constipation.
As mentioned earlier the best way to combat constipation is to prevent it all the way. Changes in diet, for example including more fibers which aid in the elimination of waste is a good way to address this situation. Children can be kept safe from constipation and its effects through plenty of water and liquids in the diet. A visit to the family physician is another way to develop a solid plan to avoid the worst cases of constipation.
Lifestyle changing decisions are another way of keeping the bowels moving frequently and properly. For example, adding isometric activities to your daily routine can also keep the gastrointestinal tract in proper function. Constipation can be a potentially debilitating and frustrating condition to face and can cause discomfort and even embarrassment. Some folks can feel very distressed about the condition but the truth is it is easily handled with important lifestyle choices.
While the worst of the constipation conditions can be caused by dietary imbalance and lack of proper exercise, there are other reasons for a case of constipation that can also be handled relatively easily. Medications can be the cause of a situation and you should always ask your physician for recommendations to prevent this condition. There may be an alternative treatment that is not so hard on the stomach. The most common types of drugs that can cause constipation include antispasmodics, iron supplement, anticonvulsants, antacids, pain medications, blood pressure medications, antidepressants and diuretics.