He is one of the best gastroenterology doctors I have ever visited. Took my uncle for stomach pain, the doctor did endoscopy & colonoscopy, diagnosed the problem as large intestine cancer, the doctor asked a...
The doctor is extremely professional and polite. He explains the problem patiently and does not prescribe unnecessary medication. He gives priority to the patient's well-being over everything. I Will definitely recommend him
I have referred/recommended a couple of my relatives and friends to this Dr (Dr. Srujan Kumar Dasyam). I say that the diagnosis and treatment are good and also Dr listens patiently in understanding the patient's...
Apoorva Reddy Panyala
Table Of Contents
- What is Constipation?
- What Causes Constipation?
- How is Constipation Diagnosed?
- What are the Complications of Constipation?
- What is the Treatment for Constipation?
What is Constipation?
Constipation is generally described as having fewer than three bowel movements a week. Constipation occurs when passing stools is difficult or when you pass stool less often than usual. It affects almost everyone at some point in their lives and is easily treatable.
What Causes Constipation?
Constipation occurs when waste or stool passes too slowly through the digestive system or is not adequately removed from the rectum, causing the stool to become stiff and dry.
Constipation can be caused by many factors, some of which are:
Colon or rectum obstructions-Stool movement may slow down due to obstructions in the colon or rectum. The following are some of the causes:
- The skin around the anus has a few minor rips in it (anal fissure)
- An obstruction in the intestines (bowel obstruction)
- Bowel stricture
- Cancer of the rectal mucosa
Nerve problems in the area of the colon and rectum
- Multiple sclerosis
- Parkinson’s disease
- Spinal cord injury
Difficulty with the muscles involved in the elimination of waste
- Obstruction of bowel movement because of the inability to relax the pelvic muscles.
- Pelvic muscles that don’t relax and contract properly
- Weakening of pelvic muscles
There can be some other factors too:
- Changes in eating habits
- Not getting enough water or fibre in the diet
- consuming large amounts of dairy goods
- Being inactive
- Procrastinating the desire to poop
- Excessive usage of laxatives
- Strong pain drugs such as narcotics, antidepressants, and iron pills
- Calcium or aluminium-based antacid medications
- Anorexia nervosa
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Problems with the muscles in the digestive system
- Colon cancer
- Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis
- Thyroid insufficiency (called hypothyroidism)
- Hypercalcemia, an excess of calcium in the blood.
How is Constipation Diagnosed?
Tests and procedures include:
- Blood tests-To look for low thyroid (hypothyroidism) or high calcium levels.
- X-ray-To check if there is any blockage in the intestine.
- Examination of the rectum and colon- In this procedure, your doctor inserts a lighted, flexible tube into your anus to examine your rectum and the lower portion of your colon.
- Examination of the rectum and entire colon (colonoscopy)
- Evaluation of anal sphincter muscle function
- Evaluation of anal sphincter muscle speed
- An X-ray of the rectum during defecation (defecography)
- MRI defecography
What are the Complications of Constipation?
Complications of chronic constipation include:
- Hemorrhoids – Straining of anus during bowel movement may cause swelling in the veins in and around the anus.
- Anal fissure-A large or complex stool can cause tiny tears in the anus.
- Faecal impaction-Chronic constipation may cause an accumulation of hardened stool that can get stuck in the intestines.
- Rectal prolapse
What is the Treatment for Constipation?
Chronic constipation is generally treated with dietary and lifestyle modifications to speed up the passage of stool through the intestines. If such modifications are ineffective, medications and surgery are prescribed.
Changes in diet and lifestyle include:
- Increasing the amount of fibre consumption.
- Exercising at least more than four times a week.
- Use of laxatives and fibre supplements
- Medications that can draw water to the intestines
- Training of pelvic muscles