Description constipation

Constipation – infrequent and / or difficult bowel movements. With constipation stools are often hard and dry. This is a very common gastrointestinal problems.

Causes of constipation

Constipation has many causes, including:

  • Lack of fluid intake;
  • Overuse of laxative medicines;
  • Too little movement;
  • Bed rest;
  • Some medications, including:
    • Painkillers;
    • Drugs;
    • Aluminum-containing antacids;
    • Antidepressant and antipsychotic medications;
    • Medicines for epilepsy and Parkinson's disease;
    • Spazmoliticheskie drugs;
    • Trankvilizatorы;
    • Iron preparations;
    • Calcium channel blockers;
  • Delay desire defecation;
  • Pregnancy;
  • Diabetes;
  • Spasm of the anal sphincter, due to painful anal fissures or hemorrhoids;
  • Thyroid disease;
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (periods of constipation may alternate with periods of diarrhea);
  • Neurological diseases, such as:
    • Parkinson's Disease;
    • Multiple sclerosis;
    • Stroke;
    • Damage or spinal cord tumor;
  • Scleroderma;
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus;
  • Intestinal disorders, including:
    • Scarring;
    • Tumors;
    • Cancer;
    • Inflammation;
  • Travels (because of changes in sleep schedule, stress and poor nutrition).

Risk factors for constipation

Factors, which may increase the risk of constipation include:

  • Advanced age;
  • Passive lifestyle;
  • Prolonged bed rest due to surgery or an accident;
  • A diet high in fat and sugar and low in fiber.

Symptoms of constipation

Symptoms include:

  • Abdominal pain;
  • Feeling of fullness;
  • Rectal pain and pressure;
  • Difficulty passing stool, Despite the tension;
  • Hard, dry stools;
  • Black chair;
  • The appearance of the chair – Round beads;
  • The feeling of incomplete bowel oprozhneniya after defecation.

Constipation – when to see a doctor?

Consult your doctor, if:

  • Before that you have never had constipation;
  • Constipation lasts longer, than 2-3 of the week;
  • There is severe pain or bloated stomach;
  • There nausea or vomiting;
  • There are signs of infection, such as fever or chills;
  • Feel pain or burning sensation in the anus, even without a bowel movement;
  • There is blood in the stool or black stool;
  • Constipation is caused by drugs (presumably);
  • There is a weight loss.

Diagnosing constipation

Changes in bowel condition, such as constipation, It may indicate a more serious illness. Your doctor may order tests, to rule out other diseases. Tests may include:

  • Medical checkup;
  • Blood tests;
  • Digital rectal examination – examination of the rectum doctor, in which a gloved lubricated finger inserted into the rectum;
  • X-ray of the abdomen – test, which uses X-rays to take pictures of structures inside the abdomen;
  • Barium enema – injection of a liquid with a radiopaque substance into the rectum, and then perform X-rays;
  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy – a thin tube with a camera inserted into the rectum to explore the rectum and lower colon.

Treatment of constipation

Methods of treatment of constipation may include:

Determining the frequency of defecation

Talk to your doctor, what should be the normal stool frequency. Its range is quite wide. Some people need a few bowel movements per day, the other, only one bowel movement for several days.

Lifestyle changes

  • Eat healthy, a balanced diet high in fiber (eg, bread with bran, whole grains, fresh fruit and cereals). Consumption prunes help to improve defecation;
  • It is necessary to limit the intake of processed foods and fatty foods;
  • Exercise regularly;
  • Drink at least eight glasses of water each day.

Laxatives, stool softener or using glycerol suppositories

Regular use of laxatives or enemas can be habit-forming, and without using them there is constipation. Stool softener, However, are not addictive. Talk to your doctor about, how often and how long you can use these tools.

Examples of drugs for improving defecation:

  • Polyethylene glycol 3350 – laxative;
  • Preparations plantain – laxative;
  • Docusate – stool softener;
  • Lactulose – lenitive;
  • Lyubiproston – medicine, increasing the amount of fluid in the stool;
  • Injections of botulinum toxin – It can be used to treat certain types of constipation.

Retraining (mode change) bowel

Go to the toilet at one and the same time each day. Usually, defecation is best after breakfast and coffee. We need to sit on the toilet for 15-20 minutes. Over time, the body gets used to a regular bowel movements at the same time every day.

Using biofeedback

Biofeedback uses sensors to the body connection. These sensors read information on the work of muscles. Working with a therapist, you will learn, how to control certain muscles, which can help with defecation.

Treatment of major diseases

Treatment of other conditions, that can cause constipation, help get rid of them.

Replacement medications for constipation

If you are taking medicines, that cause constipation, Consult a physician, to identify, whether they can be replaced by other drugs.

If you are taking opioids to relieve pain, you may have constipation. Medicine called methylnaltrexone can reduce this side effect.


If you have a serious, chronic constipation, your doctor may recommend surgery.

If you are diagnosed with constipation, Follow your doctor's instructions.

Preventing constipation

To reduce the risk of constipation:

  • Eat healthy, a balanced diet high in fiber;
  • Exercise regularly;
  • Drink at least eight glasses of water a day;
  • To train the intestine, you need to schedule time each day to visit the toilet, best immediately after a meal;
  • If you feel the urge to defecate, do not ignore it. Just go to the toilet.

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