Constipation is a change of bowel movement. In some people, constipation means infrequent bowel movements. On the other hand, people consider the difficulty of passing stool as constipation. Still, others might define constipation as having a feeling of incomplete emptying of their bowel after a bowel movement.
What Exactly is Chronic Constipation?
Chronic constipation is infrequent bowel movements or difficult passage of stools that persists for several weeks or longer. It can interfere with your daily productivity. Chronic constipation may also cause people to strain excessively to have a bowel movement.
Symptoms of Chronic Constipation
- Passing fewer stools a week
- Lumpy hard stools
- Straining to have bowel movements
- A feeling of blockage in the rectum that prevents passing the stool
- Failure to empty the stool from your rectum
- Needing help to empty your rectum or using hands to press your abdomen
- Your stools are difficult or painful to pass
- You have a stomach ache or cramps
- You feel bloated and nauseous
What are the Causes of Constipation?
- Pelvic floor dysfunction causes difficulty to coordinate muscle contractions in the rectum.
- Metabolic problems and diabetes
- Neurologic problems and stroke tears in the anus and rectum
- Narrowing of the colon
- Depression and other mental health problems
- irritable bowel syndrome and cancer
- Physical disabilities and immobility
Complications of Chronic Constipation
Constipation is typical but it is not life-threatening. Nonetheless, seek medical help when it persists for a month. Some chronic constipation is a symptom of colorectal cancer and other damages. Talk to your doctor if you experience:
- Rectal bleeding after passing stool
- Anal fissure and tear around the anus
- symptomatic hemorrhoids
- Inflamed blood vessels in the anus
- Fecal impaction
Causes and Risk Factors of Chronic Constipation
- Lack of fiber diet. People with a high intake of dietary fiber are less likely to experience constipation. Eating fiber-rich foods promotes regular bowel movements.
- Sedentary lifestyle. An inactive lifestyle may lead to constipation. Increasing mobility prevents constipation and boosts digestion.
- Irritable bowel syndrome. People with functional intestinal difficulty have a higher risk of constipation.
- Overuse of laxatives. Laxatives can help with bowel movements, but regular use of certain laxatives allows the body to get used to their action.
- Dehydration. Increase your water intake and avoid caffeinated drinks to prevent constipation.
How to Diagnose Chronic Constipation?
Your doctor may recommend blood tests, radiography, endoscopy after an initial assessment of the symptoms. Further diagnostic tests are permissible to people with a history of hypothyroidism.
Treatment for Chronic Constipation
Your doctor may recommend anti-constipation medications, laxatives, and dietary changes. Eat more fiber-rich foods and drink plenty of water to prevent constipation.