Are you facing bad mornings due to hard stools? It may be because of Constipation. We know how annoying it will be when you need to spend so much time in the bathroom yet not feeling comfortable. Do you doubt it as constipation? Know the symptoms, causes, complications, and treatment for it.
What is constipation?
Constipation is a problem with passing stools or bowel movements, solid waste from the intestines, excreted through the rectum and anus. If a person has fewer than 3 bowel movements a week, it is considered constipation. Constipation can be accompanied by rectum pain and cramping. When you try to pass stools, the pain may worsen. Small amounts of bright red blood may be found on toilet paper or the surface of stools. This is due to swollen veins near the rectum.
It usually happens as a result of a change in diet or daily routine, or from a lack of fiber intake. Check with your doctor if you have severe pain, blood in your stools, or constipation that lasts more than three weeks.
A few dietary and lifestyle changes may help you eliminate constipation. Your doctor may also prescribe medication to assist in stool softening. On the other hand, certain medications can cause constipation. These include antidepressants and pain relievers. Inform your doctor about all of the medications you are taking. To alleviate symptoms, your doctor may recommend a medication change.
What causes Constipation?
Now that you know what constipation is, you need to know the causes of constipation to avoid it. It occurs when the colon absorbs all the water from the food that is available in it. The slower the food travels through the digestive tract, the more water the colon will ingest from it. This leads to a condition where feces become dry and hard. At the point when this occurs, discharging the bowels can turn out to be exceptionally difficult. Poor diet and less exercise may be the primary cause. Look at the factors that causes the constipation.
Causes Of Constipation:
- Old age
- Low fiber intake
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Irregular eating and sleeping habits
- Resisting the urge of bowel movement
- Multiple Health problems
- Intestinal obstruction
- Defects in the digestive tract
- Outlet dysfunction
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Colorectal cancer
- Abuse of laxatives
- Taking medicines such as pain killers, iron pills, antidepressants etc.
You may wonder how often can you have bowel movements to call it as normal. Normal Bowel movement varies from person to person. For some people having bowel once a day is normal. For others having bowels twice or more times in a day can be normal. However, this has limitations.
When can you consider your bowel movements are normal?
- When you have regular bowel movements.
- If it is not hard to pass stool.
- When you are not having symptoms.
Is Constipation serious?
The myth is that constipation is not serious. The truth is that it is a serious health issue affecting all the age groups. Right from the toddlers to adults everyone may get affected by it. It is a good idea to rule it out of your life before it becomes chronic constipation.
Symptoms of constipation include:
- Less than three bowel movements a week
- Dry, hard and/or lumpy stools
- Straining to have bowel movements
- Pain during bowel movement
- Stomach ache
- Nausea & bloating
- Not feeling empty after a bowel movement
- Feeling blockage in your rectum
The symptoms of constipation may resemble other medical conditions. Always consult your physician for a diagnosis.
Note: The symptoms of Constipation can be similar to those of other medical conditions. So it is always best to consult your doctor for a definitive diagnosis.
Complications of Constipation
Constipation left untreated for a long time leads to Complications such as:
- Piles (or) Hemorrhoids
- Fecal impaction
- Rectal prolapse/bleeding
- Bowel incontinence
When to consult a Doctor?
Book Doctor Appointment if you have the following constipation issues:
- Blood in your stool
- Bleeding from your rectum
- Unintended Weight Loss
- Severe pain with bowel movements
- Constipation that lasted more than 3 weeks
- Outlet dysfunction
- History Rectal cancer
- Constant pain in your abdomen
- Inability to pass gas
- Vomiting, Fever & Lower back pain
- Unsuccessful home remedies
Treatment for Constipation
Depending on the severity of your condition, the doctor may recommend:
- Dietary & Lifestyle Changes: Most often, we can treat constipation through a series of lifestyle and dietary changes. Some necessary lifestyle and diet modifications include increasing fluids intake and fiber-rich foods; regular exercises and medication changes (if necessary).
- Prescription medicines: Medicines may be prescribed to increase fluid in your digestive tract or for irritable bowel syndrome or to help your colon move stool.
- Biofeedback therapy: This method is used to treat constipation caused by the muscle problems.
- Surgery: Your doctor may recommend surgery to treat a rectal blockage if other treatments don’t work.
How to prevent Constipation?
Steps help you avoid developing Constipation:
- Consume fiber rich foods such as beans, vegetables, fruits, whole grain cereals and bran
- Cut down on low-fiber foods
- Limit alcohol consumption
- Stay hydrated (or) Drink plenty of fluids
- Avoid a sedentary lifestyle & Stay active
- Manage stress
- Don’t neglect the urge to pass stool
Talk to a doctor when you find these complications. Though it is not life-threatening severe constipation may lead you to severe pain. Talk to a doctor when you feel hard to stool. This may be because of constipation.