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Constipation

Constipation is not merely a symptom anymore, it is a disease in itself. It is defined as infrequent stools (less than 3 times / week), hard stools, difficulty in passing stools. A constipated patient may be otherwise totally asymptomatic or may complain of 1 or more of the following: Abdominal bloating, Pain on defecation, Rectal bleeding, Spurious diarrhoea, Low back pain, feeling of incomplete evacuation, digitation. Patient have constant nagging symptoms.

Symptoms of Constipation:

  • Hard, Lumpy Stools
  • Increased Straining
  • Infrequent Bowel Movements
  • Sensation of Incomplete Evacuation
  • Abdominal Bloating
  • Spurious Diarrhoea
  • Low Back Pain
  • Rectal Bleeding

Types of Constipation

  • Normal-Transit Constipation: It is when no significant pain is present and the pelvic floor function appears normal. Also, there is no cause for secondary constipation. This type of constipation is regarded as the most common category of chronic constipation.
  • IBS Constipation:┬áIt is when pain, bloating, and incomplete defecation are the primary symptoms observed.
  • Slow-Transit Constipation: It is when pelvic floor function appears to be normal, and there is evidence of the lack of urge and there is very infrequent defecation.
  • Rectal Outlet Obstruction (Anismus/Dyssynergia): It is when there is failure of relaxation; or descending perineal syndrome and other pelvic floor disorders.
  • Secondary Constipation: It appears when there are mechanical obstructions, metabolic disorders, or drug side effects.

Causes of Constipation:

  • Gastrointestinal Disorders (Colonic and Anorectal Disorders)
  • Drugs
  • Metabolic
  • Endocrine and Neurological Disorders

When should you consult us:

  • If you observe that the form of constipation is changing
  • If the constipation is lasting for more than three weeks
  • If you observe bleeding in stools, weight loss, fever or weakness during constipation.
  • Recent onset constipation associated with anemia, hematochezia, Hemoccult positive stool or a family history of a first degree relative with colon cancer.
  • Constipation refractory to even high doses of laxatives.

Management of constipation includes Lifestyle modifications, dietary recommendations, medical management and rarely requires surgical approach. Curing constipation is of extreme importance for it is associated with various other health conditions like diabetes, Uremia, hypocalemia, hypercalemia, amyloidosis, porphyria, hypothyroidism, etc.