Constipation can be broadly described as a condition of the digestive system where the expulsion of stool becomes difficult because of hardness.
The average prevalence of constipation among adults is around 16% worldwide
There can be multiple reasons for constipation including the problems arising in colon, rectum or can even be an external problem1. However, common conditions resulting for this condition in most of the people are:
- Reduced movement in the colon due to excessive use of laxative over years1.
- An obstruction in the outlet (E.g. rectocele or rectal prolapse)1.
- External conditions such as lack of fluid intake, poor diet, and some medication1.
- Endocrine problems like hypothyroidism or some type of emotional issue1.
In most of the cases, constipation subsides in a few days and do no harm. However, it should be noted that in certain cases constipation may be a crucial sign or symptom displayed be other medical condition.
1) Difficulty in passing stools is one of the prime symptoms of constipation2.
2) Other symptoms include2,3:
- Two or even fewer bowels in a week
- Pain and cramps in stomach
- Loss of appetite
- Feeling nauseous
Self-Care: Involves increasing fiber and water intake, and routine exercise3,4.
Medications: Involves a proper understanding of constipation and proper toilet training guidance for children3,4.
Laxatives1: Although considered as first-line treatment for constipation, laxatives should be used with caution as only as last resort. A few of the over-the-counter laxatives available:
- Osmotic agents/Saline laxatives (E.g. Milk of magnesia)
- Stimulants (E.g. Senna glycoside)
- Stool softeners (E.g. Docusate)
- Bulk-forming agents (E.g. Citrucel)
- Lubricants (E.g. Mineral oil)
Specialist: Consult a doctor in 60 secs at mfine for all your constipation related problems.