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Constipation is a condition when a person has infrequent bowel movements or difficulty in passing stools. It is very common and can be caused by many factors, which sometimes may need medical attention. Let's talk about 💩 !
Constipation is generally defined as having bowel movements less than 3 times per week. Patients usually discharge with difficulty, straining, or pain, and a sense of incomplete emptying. The stools that are passed are typically dry and hard.
In normal circumstances, food passes through the digestive tract and nutrients are absorbed along the tract. Some residual food moves to the large intestine (colon) which absorbs water from this waste and forms a soft stool. Constipation happens when stool moves too slowly through the digestive tract, so more water is absorbed from the stool, making the stool dry and hard. Consequently, the stool is more difficult to be discharged during defecation.
There are many reasons that can cause constipation, including the following lifestyle changes, medications and health conditions.
Everyone has a unique bowel movement pattern. You are likely to suffer from constipation if you develop the following signs and symptoms:
The main factors contributing to constipation are poor diet and physical inactivity. Besides, the risk can be increased by the following factors:
Constipation on its own is not serious. However, it could be a symptom of a more serious underlying condition, such as cancer. Hence, it is recommended to make a proper diagnosis if you have chronic constipation in order to rule out other health problems and prevent possible complications:
Constipation is usually diagnosed by symptoms and medical history. If the cause of constipation cannot be identified, additional tests might be required to diagnose constipation, such as:
Home remedies are typically the best cure for constipation. By changing your diet and lifestyle, most cases of constipation can be resolved. Constipation home remedies include:
Most often, constipation can be improved by home remedies. Though some medications (e.g. laxatives) are available over-the-counter, they should only be considered when dietary and lifestyle changes fail to improve constipation. Besides, they should be used for short periods only. Consult your doctor or pharmacist before using any medications.
When laxatives do not help with the condition, the following medications might be prescribed by your doctor:
The most straightforward way to treat constipation is to increase dietary fiber intake. Fibers can make the stools become bulky and soft so that they can pass more easily. You can also take laxatives if symptoms do not improve.
Constipation happens when stool moves too slowly through the digestive tract. Most cases of constipation are caused by low-fiber diets, physical inactivity and inadequate water intake. It could also be caused by certain medical conditions or medications.
Yes. Constipation is generally defined as having bowel movements less than 3 times per week. Patients usually pass with difficulty, straining, or pain. Stools are typically dry and hard.
To relieve constipation, fresh fruits and vegetables are recommended as they are rich in fiber. Drinks such as apple juice, lemon juice, pear juice, teas, or vegetable juices can help relieve constipation.
This article was medically reviewed by Dr. Ernest Han Fai Li. Dr. Li is a specialist in gastroenterology and hepatology practicing at the Central Gastroenterology & Hepatology Center currently. Dr. Li served in the public hospital for 12 years after his graduation from the Chinese University of Hong Kong in 2004. At the same time, Dr. Li is a medical consultant to the Hong Kong Fire Service Officers Association, a medical advisor to the Board of Chung Shak-Hei (Cheung Chau) Home for the Aged and the chairperson of the District 303 Lions Club Organ Donation Committee.
This article was independently written by Healthy Matters. It is informative only and not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be relied upon for specific medical advice.
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