- WHAT IS CHRONIC CONSTIPATION
It is defined as infrequent bowel movement or difficult passage of stool.
Most cases of constipation are temporary.Simple life style changes such as getting more exercises,drinking more fluids and eating a high fiber diet can go a long way towards alleviating constipation.
A person is constipated when he has two or more of the following for at least three months:
- Straining during bowel movement more than 25% of the time.
- Hard stools more than 25% of the time.
- Incomplete evacuation more than 25% of the time.
- Two or fewer bowel movements in a week.
- CAUSES OF CONSTIPATION:-
-Inadequate water intake
-Inadequate fiber in diet
-Inadequate exercise or immobility
-Eating large amount of dairy products
-Resisting the urge to have a bowel movement
-Overuse of laxatives
-Antacids medicines containing calcium or aluminium
-Medicines(Strong pain medicines,antidepressant,narcotics)
-Irritable bowel syndrome
- SYMPTOMS OF CONSTIPATION:-
Not having a bowel movement everyday doesn’t mean that a person is constipated.If a person has had at least two of the following signs and symptoms for at least three of the past 6 months:
- Pass fewer than three stools a week
- Experiencing hard stools
- Strain excessively during bowel movements
- Experience a sense of rectal blockage
- Have a feeling of incomplete evacuation after having a bowel movement
- Need to use manual maneuvers to have a bowel movement such as finger evacuation.
- DIAGNOSIS OF CONSTIPATION:-
It is based on the symptoms given by the patient. Some investigations are:
1.Barium enema X-Ray
2.Sigmoidoscopy-A thin ,flexible tube is being passed through the anus and the sigmoid colon is examined.
3.Colonoscopy-Entire large intestine is examined by passing a thin,flexible tube.
4.Serum electrolytes-for electrolyte imbalance.s
5.Thyroid profile-for hypothyroidism.
- TREATMENT OF CONSTIPATION:-
1.Laxatives-Fiber supplements(Metamucil,konsyl),lubricants etc.
2.Other medications like chloride channel activators,5-HT-4agonists.
3.Diet and life style changes- A high fiber diet,regular exercise,adequate fluid intake etc.
It helps in regularization of bowel movement as well as the formation of stools of normal consistency.
It also reduces the dependency on laxatives,purgatives etc.