About Constipation

What is constipation?

Difficulty to pass stools or passing hard stools is called constipation. Although severity and presentation may differ from person to person, less than 3 bowel movements per weeks constitutes constipation as per definition.

Is constipation a disease?

No, constipation is a symptom, not a disease.

Is constipation genetic?

Constipation often runs in families, suggesting genetic predisposition or environmental factors such as diet.

How common is constipation in India?

22 per cent of the adult Indian population is suffering from the condition, with 13 per cent complaining of severe constipation.

Symptoms & Causes

What are the symptoms of constipation?

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.

What are the causes of constipation?

Common lifestyle causes of constipation include:

  • Suboptimal fibre consumption in diet
  • Decreased water intake
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Changing daily routines, late meals
  • Excessive consumption of dairy products
  • Stress
  • Resisting the urge to have a bowel movement.

Medications that can cause constipation include:

  • Painkillers
  • Psychiatric medicines
  • Syrup antacids
  • Iron supplements
  • Allergy medications
  • Certain blood pressure medicines
  • Anticonvulsant/seizure medications, such as phenytoin and gabapentin
  • Antinausea medications

Medical and health conditions that can cause constipation include:

  • Thyroid deficiency
  • Diabetes
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome ( constipation predominant)
  • Pelvic floor dyssynergia
  • Pregnancy
Treatment & Prevention

What would happen if neglect constipation?

When untreated, constipation can lead to unpleasant complications such as 

  • Hemorrhoids 
  • Rectal prolapse
  • Diverticulitis
  • Fissure in ano

How can I avoid constipation?

  • Drink more water
  • Eat more fibre
  • Exercise regularly
  • Caffeinated drinks may help
  • Consume pre-probiotic rich food
  • Prunes, nuts are of benefit

What is the treatment of constipation?

A variety of medications appropriate to the cause are available to treat constipation. Your Doctor will find out more about you and prescribe you the one that works best for you.

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