Constipation Symptoms

Constipation is a condition in which a patient suffers from irregular bowel movements and faces difficulty in passing stools. In its chronic condition, it may last for many weeks. In constipation, patients usually experience less than 3 bowel movements in one week. In constipation, the stools get harder and even painful to pass. One may feel strain while passing stool or feel that they are not being able to empty their bowels. It can affect anyone, but mostly females and people above the age of 65 are more prone to this condition. The risk of constipation is more in a woman or somebody who is about to give birth or had a surgery.

The bowel movements may decrease with age. In adults, the average bowel movement is between 3-21 times per week. The most common pattern is one bowel movement in a day, but it is seen in less than half of individuals.

In this article, learn about the symptoms of constipation and how it can be treated.

Causes of constipation

In adults, constipation is caused due to a poor diet that includes insufficient fiber, less of fluid and side effect caused by some medicines. While consulting a doctor , he or she may advise a person to correct their lifestyle measures and prescribe medicines that improve the bowel function.

Children get constipation due to controlling their stool to avoid or delay their bowel movements. Just like adults, even children need to take a lot of fiber diet to ensure that they go to the toilet frequently and clear their bowels.

Some children might develop a phobia about using the toilet during school hours. If a child overlooks the urge to go to the toilet it can be difficult for them when they need to go, that makes them hold even more.

Children should be given toilet training and let them try on their own whenever possible.

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Symptoms of constipation

Constipation can happen when the digested food spends too much time in the colon. This happens due to the following factors:

-  Irritable bowel syndrome, obstructive tumors, and celiac disease

-  Traveling and other changes in the routine

-  Use of laxatives or enemas

-  Medicines that cause constipation

A person exhibits a broad range of symptoms depending on their age, bowel habits and diet. Mentioned below are some of the issues a person may face while constipated:

-  Difficulty in completing a bowel movement.

-  Passing hard stools after straining.

-  Having irritable bowel syndrome(IBS) with

a) Severe abdominal pain

b) Excessive gas

c) Bloating

d) The difference in bowel habits

-  A person suffering from an intestinal obstruction that causes nausea, vomiting and absence of gas.

-  Distended abdomen that causes a headache and loss of appetite

-  The feeling of going to the toilet even after a bowel movement

-  Loss of appetite

-  Feeling blockage in the bowel movements

-  Feeling lethargic

In this condition, the body does not absorb waste that causes massive danger to your overall health. If constipation is not treated, it may lead to complications, like hemorrhoids and rectal prolapse. Constipation is considered chronic if a person has experienced three or more of the above-mentioned symptoms.

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Treatment of constipation

Complication with the pelvic muscles during a bowel movement may cause chronic constipation. These problems may include:

- Anismus: This is the condition when the pelvic muscles cannot relax that later on cause problem in the bowel movement.

- Dyssynergia: This is the condition when the pelvic muscles do not relax and contract properly.

-  Weakened pelvic muscles

Constipation is mainly caused due to an improper lifestyle, while it can last if not treated or one does not change their lifestyle. The most common type of constipation is acute constipation that can also cause back pain. It happens when a person binges a lot of unhealthy food items. The basic remedy to treat constipation is to drink a lot of water and increasing the intake of fiber diet. Exercise is also helpful in situations to deal with acute constipation.

The other type of constipation, called chronic constipation occurs when someone does not take proper diet, drinks less water and is highly dependent on laxatives. It requires dedication to maintain a healthy lifestyle that requires one to reduce the consumption of junk food and alcohol. After strictly following this routine, one should be back to normal with no cramps and signs of chronic constipation.

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When should one see a doctor?

A person might feel embarrassed by talking about their medical condition, but it gets important to check with the doctor in case the pain persists or worsens. Once a person is diagnosed with constipation, the doctor may discuss the required treatments with him. Then, one needs to switch treatments if one treatment is not working. In such cases, it is natural for a person to rely on laxatives to have a bowel movement. However, in such situations the doctor advises to stop the usage of laxatives.

Doctors recommend some tests like barium enema, sigmoidoscopy and colonoscopy that allow them to understand where the problem is.

Home remedies for constipation

Listed below are some of the ways to ease the symptoms of constipation with taking medicines. Read on:

- Exercise: Regular exercise helps to make bodily processes regular, even passing of stools.

- Homeopathic medicines: Studies say that constipation can be treated with homeopathic medicine including calcarea carbonica, silica and lycopodium.

- Maintain a proper routine: Fix a time when you can visit the bathroom without forcing the stool.

- Stool bulking agents: One should try adding them in their diet as it can soften their stools making them easier to pass. Some of the examples of bulking agents are white beans, broccoli and spinach.

- Increase in water and fiber diet : This helps a lot. People suffering from constipation should eat between 18 to 30 grams of fiber every day.  One should drink as much water as they can.

- Avoid controlling in stools: Responding to nature's call when it happens is the key to reduce constipation.

If a person follows any of these lifestyle measures, they can prevent constipation at an early stage. If having severe constipation and the above-mentioned remedies do not help, then one should reach out to their health practitioner.

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Last updated on : 29-10-2018

Disclaimer : Docprime doesn’t endorse or take any guarantee of the accuracy or completeness of information provided under this article and these are the views strictly of the writer. Docprime shall not be held responsible for any aspect of healthcare services administered with the information provided on this article.

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