Constipation | Causes | Symptoms | Treatment

Constipation is one of the most frequent reasons for consultation in Primary Care and it happens to everyone at some point in their life, although it affects more women than men. Constipation is considered when bowel movements are difficult or occur less often than normal.


What is constipation?

It is a depositional rhythm disorder. Normal limits usually range from three bowel movements a day to at least three a week. Since it is also an alteration of the intestine that consists of an excessive retention of water in the large intestine and consequently, causes the stool to harden, which makes its expulsion very difficult.


Causes

-Changes in diet or daily activities and including stress

-Pathologies such as eating behavior disorders

-Irritable bowel syndrome

-Colon cancer

-Diabetes

-Hyperthyroidism

-Neurological diseases (Parkinson's, dementia, multiple sclerosis or stroke)

-Physical inactivity

-Not drinking enough fluids

-Eat a low fiber diet

-Ell overuse of laxatives

-The pregnancy

-The consumption of certain medications (antacids containing calcium or aluminum, antidepressants, nutritional iron supplements, opioid analgesics, among others).


Symptoms

-A less frequent and less content evacuation, with more harshness that requires effort.

-Feeling that a complete emptying has not occurred.

-Pain in the abdominal area and in the anal region.

-Swelling

-Vomiting

-Inappetence

-Bloated.


Treatment

If you want to relieve occasional constipation, you can turn to glycerin suppositories. But to treat chronic constipation, you need to manage it persistently, for example by taking fiber supplements, as they do not have the negative effects of laxatives.


If you increase your fiber intake, remember that you should also increase your fluid and water intake. For the fiber to do its function of increasing the volume and the fecal weight needs to absorb a lot of water, otherwise it could produce an unwanted reverse effect.

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