Constipation is a very common problem and everyone experiences constipation at some point in their life. A diagnosis of constipation is made if you have not passed 3 or more stools in one week, and if you have passed only one stool in one week, this qualifies to be severe constipation. Constipation is mostly self-limiting in 1 or 2 days but if constipation lasts for a longer period, you should see a doctor.
A diagnosis of constipation is made by taking a medical history that enquires about the onset, duration, and presence of other symptoms like nausea and then doing a physical examination of your gastrointestinal system and doing laboratory tests. Constipation is a very common cause of Cypress abdominal pain that requires treatment to relieve the discomfort.
What Causes Constipation?
The most common cause of mild constipation is dehydration which makes the stool too hard and not able to pass. Eating foods that have very little fiber will put you at risk of constipation. Living a sedentary lifestyle with minimal exercise or physical inactivity causes constipation. Failing to obey nature calls also puts you at risk of constipation. Other risks of constipation include obesity and being female.
Another cause of constipation is obstruction of the intestines by adhesions. The large intestine can also become narrowed limiting the passage of stools. A mass or enlarged organ that is close to the colon can compress the colon such is the case with tumors of the head of the pancreas that press on the duodenal part of the colon. Cancer of the rectum can also present with constipation.
Conditions that affect the function of nerves like stroke affect the nerves that control the function of the intestines limiting mobility and resulting in constipation. If the pelvic muscles fail to contract as they should, you will be unable to pass stools. Other causes of constipation include diabetes and disorders of the thyroid gland. The growing uterus during pregnancy can press on the intestines causing constipation.
When constipation lasts for a long period, it can put you at a higher risk of developing rectal piles due to the rupture of the rectal veins causing bleeding. Chronic constipation can also cause tears in your anus. Rectal prolapse is a condition in which the inner part of the rectum comes out of the anus and can occur as a consequence of constipation.
How Can You Relieve Constipation at Home?
You stay well hydrated to make digestion of food easy and to soften the stool so that it is easily excreted. Your diet should contain food that is rich in fiber and fresh fruits and vegetables to help with digestion. Always go to the toilet when you get an urge because ignoring will cause accumulation of more stool leading to constipation.
Exercise helps with constipation. You should also avoid any other trigger of constipation like anxiety and stress and being overweight. You can also massage your abdomen and use stool softeners or laxatives. You should consult a doctor if constipation lasts for a long period, when you pass bloody stool, or have severe abdominal pain or unexplained weight loss.
Constipation is a common condition that usually resolves on its own but persistence beyond 2 weeks, passing bloody stool, and severe pain in the abdomen should prompt you to seek medical attention. You can avoid constipation by drinking plenty of water, being physically fit, eating food that is rich in fiber, and reducing your weight and stress levels.