Constipation is hampered, delayed or insufficiently frequent defecation (bowel movements).
Some people have a bowel movement may be 2 or 3 times a day, others once every 3-5 days, while in both cases the normal range. About constipation says not the frequency of bowel movements, consistency or discomfort.
- ignoring the need for bowel movement because of employment;
- hemorrhoids or anal fissure that causes pain during bowel movements;
- improper diet, low activity, a mode change or the increased stress;
- insufficient intake of fluids and food (fibre);
- some drugs, for example, the means for reducing the acidity of gastric juice, antidepressants, antihistamines, antihypertensive (reducing blood pressure), diuretics, and drugs (eg, codeine) may also be a cause of constipation;
- in infants receiving replacement feeding, the cause of constipation may be too dense nutrient mixture;
- in children constipation can be caused by excessive workload and stress;
- in the elderly constipation can occur due to the fact that abdominal muscles with age become much weaker.
In some cases, constipation may be a symptom of more serious diseases. For example, alternating constipation and diarrhoea may mean that you have irritable bowel syndrome (common bowel dysfunction). Diverticulitis, an inflammation of a diverticulum is a small pouch-like formations in the wall of the colon, often causes constipation, fever and pain in the left lower abdomen.
Symptoms of constipation
- the feeling of pressure in the rectum;
- unpleasant feeling of fullness in the bowel.
It is recommended to consult a doctor if constipation is changing the shape of the stool and it takes the form of balls (sheep feces), thin tubes or bands, only mucus and fluid can exit the anus, and if constipation is accompanied by nausea, fever, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, cramps and gas.
Require immediate hospitalization, if constipation is accompanied by severe bloating and inability exit gases.
If in addition to constipation, no other symptoms no, just wait until it passes. The frequency of defecation and type of bowel movements varies from time to time, this is nothing unusual.
Listen to your body. It gives you a signal about the need for a bowel movement. Don’t delay this moment. If you have a bowel movement you have repeated (for example, in the morning after waking up or in the evening before bedtime), try every day at this time to release 10 minutes for normal bowel movements. Try to relax during defecation.
Adjust your diet. Increase your fluid intake. Constipation can help prune juice. Add in the diet of more fresh fruits and vegetables, and whole grain bread.
Try more exercise. Physical activity not only helps the intestines, but also relieve you from stress, which is often one of the main causes of constipation.
Use a mild laxative to ease the condition. But once the bowel is returned to normal, try to change your diet, the motor mode, and also to reduce stress.
If constipation lasts more than 7 days, in spite of your actions, contact your doctor.
What to do for constipation
For doctors in the clinic, the doctor may:
- Eliminate hemorrhoids and anal fissures, and other, more serious causes of constipation (for example, cancer of the colon or rectum).
- Make recommendations on nutrition and physical activity, to add to the diet of the patient tissue and fiber.
- Write a suitable laxative.
- To prescribe a suppository or an enema (introduction of fluid into the intestine through the anus using a special tube).
- Mild laxatives such as milk of magnesia (magnesium hydroxide) or suppositories, can temporarily eliminate constipation. However, don’t use them constantly, if you want to organize the work of the bowel, as from laxatives may produce dependence.
Prevention of constipation
Eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains every day. Avoid “fixing” products, i.e. those that cause hard stool.
Reduce carbonated drinks and coffee in your diet. Exercise regularly. Observe the mode and eat at one and the same time, 3-4 times a day. If you experience the urge to defecate, don’t delay.