Constipation – What is it, Symptoms and Treatments!

Constipation – What it is, Symptoms and Treatments of this condition. Furthermore, constipation is one of the most common digestive problems in the United States, affecting around 42 million Americans.

Constipation is defined as difficult, dry bowel movements. Your colon ‘s main job is to absorb water from waste food as it is passing through your digestive system . It then creates feces (waste).

The colon ‘s muscles eventually propel the waste through the rectum to be eliminated. If the stool remains in the colon for a long time, it can become hard and difficult to pass.

Causes of Constipation: There are several causes that can result in Constipation problems .

Poor diets often cause constipation . Dietary fiber and adequate water intake are necessary to help keep stools soft. Fiber -rich foods are usually made from plants. Fiber has soluble and insoluble forms. Soluble fiber can dissolve in water and creates a smooth, gel-like material as it passes through the digestive system .

Insoluble fiber retains most of its structure as it passes through the digestive system . Both forms of fiber bind to stool, increasing its weight and size while softening it. This makes it easier to go through the rectum. Stress, routine changes and conditions that slow down colon muscle contractions or delay your urge to go can also lead to Constipation .

Common Causes of Constipation Include:

  • High fiber diet (especially diets high in meat, milk or cheese)
  • Dehydration;
    Lack of exercise;
  • Delaying the urge to have a bowel movement;
  • Travel or other changes in routine;
  • Certain medications, such as high calcium and antacids and pain medications
  • pregnancy .

Constipation Symptoms: Each person’s definition of “normal” bowel movements may be different. Some individuals go to the bathroom three times a day, while others go three times a week. However, you may have Constipation if you have the following symptoms:

  • Going to the bathroom less than 3 times a week;
  • If Your stools are hard or dry;
  • If you need to Make a lot of effort when you go to the bathroom;
  • Feeling full, even after going to the bathroom.

Diagnoses of Constipation: Many people affected by Constipation choose to self-treat by changing their diets, increasing exercise, or usingover-the-counter laxatives . However, laxatives should not be used for more than two weeks without consulting a doctor. Your body can become dependent on them for colon function .

You Should Talk to Your Doctor if:

  • You have had constipation for more than three weeks;
  • You have blood in your stool;
  • You have abdominal pain;
  • You are experiencing pain during bowel movements;
  • You are losing weight;
  • You have sudden changes in your bowel movements.

Your doctor will ask questions about your symptoms, medical history, and any medications or underlying conditions. A physical exam may include a rectal exam and blood tests to check your blood count, electrolytes, and thyroid function.

Constipation Treatments: Changing your diet and increasing your level of physical activity are the easiest and fastest ways to treat and prevent constipation . Also try the following techniques:

  • Every day, drink 1.5 to 2 liters of non-distilled, decaf fluids such as water to hydrate your body.
  • Limit your consumption of alcohol and caffeinated drinks, which cause dehydration.
  • Add fiber – rich foods to your diet, such as raw fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, prunes, or bran cereal. Your daily fiber intake should be between 20 and 35 grams.
  • Cut down on low- fiber foods like meat, milk, cheese, and processed foods.
  • Aim for about 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week, with a goal of 30 minutes a day at least five times a week (try walking, swimming, or biking).
  • If you feel the urge to have a bowel movement, don’t delay.
  • Add fiber supplements to your diet if needed. Just remember to drink plenty of fluids because fluids help fiber work more efficiently.
  • Use laxatives sparingly. Your doctor may prescribe laxatives or enemas for a short period of time to help soften stools. Never use laxatives  for more than two weeks without talking to your doctor. Your body can become dependent on them for proper colon function .
  • Consider adding probiotics to your diet, such as those found in yogurt. Studies have shown that this dietary change can be helpful for those with Chronic Constipation .
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If you still have problems with constipation , your doctor may prescribe medication to help. According to the American College of Gastroenterology, linaclotide (Linzess) and lubiprostone (Amitiza) are two medications that are strongly recommended for people with IBS -related Constipation . These medications work by increasing secretions in the intestines, making stools easier to pass.

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