Constipation Overview

Constipation means hard stools that are difficult to pass or a sense of incomplete emptying after trying a bowel movement. Constipation usually is defined as fewer than three bowel movements per week. Severe constipation is defined as less than one bowel movement per week.  At the extreme end of the constipation spectrum is fecal impaction, a condition in which stool hardens in the rectum and prevents the passage of any stool. The severity of constipation varies from person to person. Many people only experience constipation for a short time, but for others, constipation can be a chronic. the number of bowel movements generally decreases with age. Using calcium and magnesium in the right quantities can prevent or relieve constipation. They can support the health of your colon and keep you regular.

Constipation Causes

If you eat a lot of protein, processed foods or refined grained foods, there might not be enough fiber in your bowel. The waste will move slowly, causing constipation and gas. Enough vegetables and fruits in diet will generally give you enough fiber to generate regular, easy bowel motions. Constipation can be caused by one or combination of these factors:-

  • Habitual or regular delay in passing stool
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Frequent routine changes
  • Continuous immobility or bed ridden
  • Certain medications, especially prolonged use of some pain-killers, laxatives,  antidepressants,  anticonvulsants or Iron supplements
  • Pregnancy
  • Depression
  • Hormonal problems
  • Underactive thyroid gland
  • Nerves or bowel disease

 Constipation Symptoms

Some adults normally go to the toilet more than once a day, whereas it’s normal for others to go only every three or four days. Some infants pass stools several times a day, while others pass stools only a few times a week. Constipation usually is defined as fewer than three bowel movements per week. Severe constipation is defined as less than one bowel movement per week.

  1. Passing stools may also seem more difficult because your stools are:
  • Dry, hard and lumpy
  • Abnormally large
  • Abnormally small
  1. Stomach ache and cramps
  2. Feeling bloated
  3. Feeling nauseous
  4. Loss of appetite

Diagnosis of Constipation

Doctor will normally diagnose constipation from medical history and physical check up, test would be required rarely

Constipation Treatment

1.  Life style Changes

  • Drink more fluids, especially water.
  • Eat more wholegrain cereals, vegetables and fruits – including the skins, if they’re edible.
  • Prunes, broccoli, rhubarb, kiwifruit, corn, dried fruits and liquorice can all help move your bowels.
  • Be physically active.
  • Don’t delay bowel motions – go when you feel the urge.
  • Avoid straining or forcing a motion, as this can cause hemorrhoids (piles).

2.  Laxatives. Laxatives are not recommended without medical supervision and avoid using them on a regular basis.

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