Constipation is defined as difficult, difficult, and often painful bowel movements. There is also infrequent bowel movements, usually less than three times a week. The sensation of incomplete bowel movements can often be felt.
Constipation is a common problem that most people face at some point in their lives, although it is more common in women, children, and the elderly. Most of the time, this is a temporary problem and useful for simple corrective actions. However, it can sometimes become chronic, especially in people who are bedridden, elderly, or chronically ill.
Many factors predispose to the development of constipation. The main causes are as follows:
Hardening of feces
insufficient fluid intake
Medicines, eg. Iron, calcium, diuretics
Slow transit through the colon, resulting in excessive reabsorption of water. The chairs get so dry and hard. The causes are:
Medicines containing codeine, medicines for excessive diarrhea, certain antidepressants
Diseases such as hypothyroidism, diabetes, post-stroke, Parkinson’s disease
decreased physical activity eg. For bedridden people
A form of mechanical handicap when using the wheelchair such as:
Anatomical abnormalities of the colon, eg. Rectal prolapse, rectocele, adhesions after surgery
Psychological causes: irritable bowel syndrome (IBS – predominant form of constipation)
Caused only in infants
Convert breast milk to milk
Fear of toilet training
Untreated constipation can lead to the following complications:
Painful hemorrhoids (piles) or anal fissures
Faeces that may need to be removed manually by your doctor
Hernias due to excessive stress
Constipation is usually easier to prevent than to treat. There are a few simple steps you can take to prevent and treat constipation:
Drink enough fluids
Include plenty of fiber in your diet eg. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains
Don’t ignore the urge to have a bowel movement.
Try to plan the time after eating for bowel movements.
Avoid drugs known to make constipation worse
If your bowel behavior changes, you should see your doctor
There are some over-the-counter medications that can help with constipation:
Laxatives, eg lactulose
Stimulants, eg senna, bisacodyl