Constipation is a subjective feeling of inadequate bowel movements and dry or painful stools. There is a common misconception that it is important to have at least one bowel movement every day. The medical facts do not support this view.
There are no fixed symptoms of constipation, except for people with a serious underlying cause, where constipation is itself a symptom of this problem. However, some common symptoms of constipation are followed for guidance. If the bowel movement occurs less than three times a week, this is considered a symptom of constipation. Other symptoms include hard, dry, granular stool, too much pressure to pass the stool, painful stool, a feeling of swollen stomach, worry and laziness, and a feeling of incomplete evacuation.
If the patient has irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), the colon becomes cramped. This in turn leads to constipation and diarrhea, abdominal cramps, gas and bloating. During a physical examination, local anorectal lesions such as anal fissures, fistulas, strictures, cancer and thrombosed hemorrhoids as well as stenoses, abscesses, rectal prolapse, bleeding, hernias, stool retention or flatulence can be found. If the pelvic floor malfunctions, the anal sphincter muscle tenses instead of relaxing when the patient tries to defecate. In older women, research can reveal a bulging rectocele in the vagina.
In addition to a physical exam, other exam methods include blood tests (which may reveal hypothyroidism), abdomen x-rays, barium enema, bowel transit studies, defecography, anorectal motility studies, bowel motility studies, and more.
The history of the patient’s constipation can indicate various symptoms. This would include factors such as the amount of time spent in the toilet to empty, the environmental and psychological changes that occurred before the problem occurred, measures to control the problem, such as the use of laxatives (laxative abuse is one of the most common Causes of constipation, other measures or behavior patterns that the patient uses to facilitate bowel movements, and the patient’s psychological state, in which constipation creates psychological concerns, which in turn aggravate the condition.