CONSTIPATION – Causes, Symptoms, Relief and Treatment

Constipation is a disorder of the digestive system where stool is hard and difficult to expel out. It occurs more commonly in elder people and women.

CAUSES

  1. Lack of dietary fiber in food.
  2. Low water intake.
  3. Less physical activity.
  4. Medical conditions like hypothyroidism, hyperparathyroidism, parkinsonism (a disorder of the central nervous system that affects movement, often including tremor), multiple sclerosis, stroke, diabetes and surgical conditions like rectocele, anal fissure, anorectal stricture, colonic malignancy, painful hemorrhoids, etc.
  5. Medications like opioids, amitriptyline, iron and calcium supplements, aluminum-containing antacids, calcium channel blockers.
  6. Psychogenic like depression eating disorder.
  7. Idiopathic.

TREATMENT

The majority of constipation causes are cured by conservative treatments. It is better to find the cause and then treat accordingly.

  1. Eating 20-30gm of dietary fiber per day. Dietary fiber is found in vegetables, whole grains, seeds, nuts, beans, peas, etc
  2. Drinking plenty of water.
  3. Regular Exercise.
  4. The habit of regular toilet going irrespective of defection urge.
  5. In case of failure of dietary and lifestyle measures, we have to go for laxatives medicines.
    • OSMOTIC LAXATIVE – Magnesium hydroxide, Lactulose, Polyethylene glycol, etc.
    • STIMULANT LAXATIVE– Bisacodyl, Senna, Lubiprostone, Linaclotide, Plecanatide, Milk of magnesia etc.
  6. In nonresponsive cases, sodium phosphate or mineral oil enema can be used.
  7. Take probiotics supplements or foods. They help in chronic constipation.
  8. Biofeedback training or neuromuscular training is useful for pelvic floor dysfunction with a high success rate.
  9. For surgical causes, surgical intervention is a better treatment option.
  10. Excess straining must be avoided as there is an increased risk of hemorrhoids or rectal prolapse.

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