Constipation or chronic constipation is discomfort that comes with improper bowel movement. It makes it difficult for the stool to pass through and present for several weeks or a longer time. When you have a bowel movement lesser than three for a week it is constipation. Constipation is common when it is occasional, but in the case of chronic constipation, it gives lots of discomfort for the person, even in doing their daily activities. At times, excessive strain can cause severe pain when they have bowel movement.
Causes of constipation
The main cause is the stool is not moved through the rectum. But other causes are mentioned below.
Blockages in the colon or rectum
Blockages may cause slow or stop the stool movement. The main causes are
- Anal fissure: tear of skin around the anus
- Intestinal blockage
- Colon cancer
- Narrow colon
- Rectal cancer
- Rectocele or rectum bulge
Some neurological disease affects the nerve around the colon and rectum. Diseases causing constipation are
- Autonomic neuropathy
- Multiple sclerosis
- Parkinsons disease
- Injury in the spinal cord
Difficulty in muscle-related to bowel movement
Pelvic muscles are related to the bowel movement. So when you have difficulty in pelvic muscles you will get chronic constipation.
- Poor coordination of pelvic muscles during bowel movement
- Weak pelvic muscles
Hormonal imbalance can cause chronic constipation. Diseases like diabetes, thyroid will affect your hormone balance and you may get constipation. In pregnancy, many women get constipation due to hormonal changes.
Severe effects of constipation
Some major complications of chronic constipation include,
Hemorrhoids: Swollen veins in your anus are called hemorrhoids. Due to excess strain, your nerve around the rectum will swell.
Anal fissure: The skin around the anus will tear due to large and hard stool. This tear is called an anal fissure.
Fecal impaction: Hardened stools get accumulated in your intestines and get hard to expel.
Symptoms of constipation
Most of the symptoms you will feel in a week. Symptoms of chronic constipation are,
- Hard stools
- Excess strain during bowel movement
- Having less than three bowel movement in a week
- Feeling of a blockage in your rectum
- Feeling like after bowel movement your stomach is full
- Taking external help with fingers and hands for your bowel movement
Prevention from constipation
Constipation can be managed with a proper diet and regular exercise. The following will help you to prevent constipation,
- Avoiding processed and packaged foods
- Including fluids and fiber-rich food like wheat, beans in your diet
- Drinking plenty of water
- Don’t ignore the bowel movement and try to make a schedule
- Staying active
- Stress management
When your constipation lasts for more than a week or you have bloody stools it is recommended to consult your doctor and detail your symptoms.