Constipation is infrequent bowel movements or difficult passage of stools that persists for several weeks or longer.
Almost everyone has different timings and habits as far as moving the bowels is concerned, however certain people who fail to pass their stools less than thrice a week, are regarded by doctors as being constipated, this may be due to a variety of reasons and constipation is an uncomfortable issue.
Besides these genuine sufferers from constipation, there are many others who have to strain to defecate every time they move their bowels, needless to say such persons may also benefit greatly from some of the therapies and remedies that are aimed at the people who suffer constipation, as the causes may be similar.
The nature of the diet that people eat seems to play a part in a vast number of cases, in fact it is seen, and a lack of fiber and scarcity of fluids in the diet is the reason constipation occurs. There may be other reasons as well, include those that are purely physical, these include a lack of exercise and movement and sedentary habits over a long period of time, psychological causes such as the presence of a severe depression in some people may trigger constipation; there may also be other underlying medical disorders problems such as irritable bowel syndrome, metabolic disorders such as diabetes, a high blood calcium level in the afflicted person, a underperforming thyroid gland, constipation may even be a sign of cancer of the colon.
Additionally the abuse of drugs such as antacids and laxatives can hamper and impair bowel activity and function giving rise to the symptoms of constipation, certain types of medications and drugs can also bring on constipation, including drugs used for the treatment of a high blood pressure, certain classes of antidepressants, and some types of narcotic pain relief drugs. All these factors can contribute and cause constipation to appear in a person.
Signs and symptoms of chronic constipation include:
- Passing fewer than three stools a week
- Having lumpy or hard stools
- Straining to have bowel movements
- Feeling as though there’s a blockage in your rectum that prevents bowel movements
- Feeling as though you can’t completely empty the stool from your rectum
- Needing help to empty your rectum, such as using your hands to press on your abdomen and using a finger to remove stool from your rectum
Constipation may be considered chronic if you’ve experienced two or more of these symptoms for the last three months.