Constipation is one of the most common digestive problems of some 42 million Americans in the United States, chronic constipation is rare bowel movements or heavy storage passage that persists for several weeks or longer.
Constipation is usually described as having less than three movements of the intestine a week, constipation is defined as having severe, dry movements of the intestine or going less than three times a week.
Constipation means that your bowel movements are tough or occur less frequently than normal, at some point, nearly everyone goes through it, although not usually serious, when your body is back on track, you will feel much better.
Constipation occurs when the movements of the intestine are less frequent and stools are difficult to pass, it most often happens because of changes in diet or routine, or because of inadequate fiber intake. If you have severe pain, blood in your stools, or constipation lasting longer than three weeks, you should call your doctor.
Constipation is most frequently caused by inadequate dietary fiber or a regular diet or routine disruption, chronic constipation may result from poor diet, dehydration, certain medicines (such as antidepressants,heavy pain medicines), stress, or the pressure from other activities that force you to ignore the urge to empty your intestines.
Common causes of constipation include:
- A diet low in fiber.
- Do not drink sufficient water.
- Lack of exercise.
- Pelvic floor dysfunction.
- Nerve signaling problems.
- Milk products.
- Slow transit of the colon.
- Side effects of certain medications.
- Traveling or another routine change.
- Foods with high levels of fat and sugar.
- Stress or resist the urge to have an intestine.
- High – fiber food shortages (such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains).
- Water and other fluids are lacking.
- Ignoring the urge to pass stools.
- Alcohol or caffeine.
Signs and Symptoms.
Constipation is a symptom, not a disease, and many factors can cause it poor diet and lack of exercise are the most common, other causes include syndrome of irritable intestines, pregnancy, laxative abuse, travel, specific diseases, hormonal disturbances, loss of body salts, and nerve damage.
Constipation can also be caused by a variety of medications, such as pain medications, particularly narcotics, aluminum – containing antacids, antispasmodic drugs, antidepressant drugs, tranquilizers, iron supplements, epilepsy anticonvulsants, antiparkinsonic drugs, and blockers of the calcium channel.
The most common symptoms include:
- Appetite decreased.
- The inability to have several days of intestinal movement or to pass hard, dry stools.
- Having lumpy or hard stools.
- Bloating, cramping or pain in the abdomen.
- Lethargy and passing fewer than three stools a week.
- A feeling all stools haven’t passed.
- Less than three movements of the intestines a week.
- Stools that are hard to pass or painful.
Chronic constipation treatment usually starts with changes in diet and lifestyle to increase the rate at which stool moves through your intestines, if these changes do not help, medication or surgery may be recommended by your doctor.
Occasional constipation does not indicate a need to see a doctor, but for a persistent problem you should seek professional advice, the doctor will check your abdomen for any sign of a hardened mass during a physical examination and may perform a rectal examination.
He or she can also take a blood sample to examine your colon, a flexible tube with a video camera inserted into the rectum, using a sigmoidoscope or colonoscope you may also need a barium enema that coats the intestinal lining to make it visible on an X – ray.