What Exams Procedures And Tests Help Diagnose The Cause Of Severe Constipation
Many tests can diagnose severe constipation, and most people only need a few basic tests. First the doctor or health care professional will take a medical history and physical examination to allow the doctor to define the type of constipation that’s present uncover any supplements or prescription products you are taking or diseases or other health problems you have. This, in turn, directs the diagnosis and therapy. For example, if defecation is painful, the doctor knows to look for anal problems such as a narrowed anal sphincter or an anal fissure. If small stools are the problem, eating foods low in fiber may be the cause. If the patient is experiencing significant straining, then pelvic floor dysfunction is likely.
A careful dietary history-which may require keeping a food diary for a week or two-can reveal a diet that is low in fiber and may direct the physician to recommend a high-fiber diet. A food diary also allows the physician to evaluate how well an individual increases his dietary fiber during treatment.
Other tests are available for people who have severe constipation that doesn’t respond easily to treatment.
Blood tests may be appropriate in evaluating your condition. More specifically, blood tests for thyroid hormone and for calcium may be helpful.
Colonic transit studies
Anorectal motility studies
Magnetic resonance imaging defecography
Colonic motility studies
I Had Chronic Constipation Here’s How I Cured It
If you often struggle to go to the bathroom, you’re not alone. When it comes to digestive issues, chronic constipation is one of the most common problems. In fact, it’s estimated to affect up to 27 percent of the North American population!
Besides being unhealthy, constipation is uncomfortable, frustrating, and stressful to deal with. Believe me, I know the feeling well I dealt with chronic constipation for years.
In my early twenties, I was in an unhealthy relationship and started experiencing physical ailments from the mental and emotional turmoil I was going through.
Over-the-counter laxatives may ease the symptoms for a while but they won’t treat the root cause.
Back then, I wasn’t eating healthy, and I wasn’t nearly as educated as I am now on what foods would have been healing for my condition. To combat the constipation, I tried eliminating certain foods from my diet and adding certain foods in, but to no avail. I added more greens in since I had always associated leafy vegetables with being helpful with bowel movements. But the greens only made the constipation worse.
My dietary choices, combined with the stress of being in an unhappy marriage, wreaked havoc on my digestive system. I didnt realize that all the emotional stress I was experiencing was literally backing me up. At the time, I was stuffing my emotions and not in touch with my true feelings and my body literally started holding everything in.
Why You Need Constipation Relief
All the straining can lead to hernias, it can lead to hemorrhoids, it can even cause something called a rectal prolapse, where the rectum comes out and has to be pushed back in. On a more general scale, the backed-up stools can cause toxicity, mood disturbances, irritability, joint pains, sleeplessness, and in severe cases, even depression.
And while laxatives and enemas help, they are cumbersome and overuse of these aids will further weaken your natural intestinal muscle movements. And if you ask me, there really is no reason to resort to these extreme measure. Especially as good, healthy nutrition can easily prevent you from getting constipated in the first place.
There are a lot of natural constipation remedies that work with your body to provide constipation relief. But as the constipation you might be suffering from could be either just a recent affliction or a long-standing one, Ive divided the remedies into quick constipation remedies and chronic constipation remedies.
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What Otc Laxatives Treat Constipation
Saline laxatives contain non-absorbable ions such as magnesium, sulfate, phosphate, and citrate [for example, magnesium citrate , magnesium hydroxide, sodium phosphate). These ions remain in the colon and cause water to be drawn into the colon. Again, the effect is softened feces.
Magnesium also may have mild stimulatory effects on the colonic muscles. The magnesium in magnesium-containing products is partially absorbed from the intestine and into the body. Magnesium is eliminated from the body by the kidneys. Therefore, patients with impaired kidney function may develop toxic levels of magnesium from chronic use of magnesium-containing products.
Saline laxatives act within a few hours. In general, potent saline products should not be used on a regular basis. If major diarrhea develops with the use of saline products and the lost fluid is not replaced by the consumption of liquids, dehydration may result. The most frequently-used and mildest of the saline products is milk of magnesia. Epsom Salt is a more potent saline laxative that contains magnesium sulfate.
Stimulant laxatives cause the muscles of the small intestine and colon to propel their contents more rapidly. They also increase the amount of water in it, either by reducing the absorption of the water in the colon or by causing active secretion of water in the small intestine.3
How Common Is Constipation
You are not alone if you have constipation. Constipation is one of the most frequent gastrointestinal complaints in the United States. At least 2.5 million people see their doctor each year due to constipation.
People of all ages can have an occasional bout of constipation. There are also certain people and situations that are more likely to lead to becoming more consistently constipated . These include:
- Older age. Older people tend to be less active, have a slower metabolism and less muscle contraction strength along their digestive tract than when they were younger.
- Being a woman, especially while you are pregnant and after childbirth. Changes in a womans hormones make them more prone to constipation. The baby inside the womb squishes the intestines, slowing down the passage of stool.
- Not eating enough high-fiber foods. High-fiber foods keep food moving through the digestive system.
- Taking certain medications .
- Having certain neurological and digestive disorders .
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Fiber Is Not Always The Answer
If adding fiber to your diet in the form of food orsupplements makes you more bloated and blocked than before, there are a numberof potential reasons. For example, in slow transit constipation, a conditionwhere the bowel does not move things quickly through, fiber sits in your gut andcan make you feel worse.
Long story short: If fiber makes you worse, dont just addmore. See your doctor.
Make Time To Move Your Bowels
Try waking up earlier to eat breakfast and then move yourbowels. Food can stimulate the need to go, and you probably feel most relaxedin your home bathroom.
But dont get toorelaxed in there the more time you spend on the toilet, the more likely you areto strain for bowel movements. Do not take your cell phone into the bathroomwith you, or work on your computer or read a book, Dr. Zutshi advises.
And if you feel the urge to go when youre out an about,dont avoid using a public restroom. Delaying a bowel movement can actuallymake constipation worse.
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Stool Softeners: Little Evidence
Stool softeners enhance the interaction of stool and water, leading to softer stool and easier evacuation. Docusate sodium and docusate calcium are thought to facilitate the mixing of aqueous and fatty substances, thereby softening the stool.
However, there is little evidence to support the use of docusate for constipation in hospitalized adults or in ambulatory care. A recent review reported that docusate was no better than placebo in diminishing symptoms of constipation.
How To Cure Chronic Constipation Permanently
Constipation is a popular disorder. There are roughly 20% of the population affected by constipation which significantly impacts theirs quality of life. At least 8 million US people suffering from chronic constipation have to go to see the doctor every year. Many people just ignore their situation, making it worse day after day. If youre not treated soon, it can infect other organs in your body which will risk your life.
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Raisin And Jaggery: An Instant Indian Home Remedy For Constipation
- Take 8-10 Raisins and soak in the water in the evening till the next morning. Remove the seeds and boil them with the milk. eat raisins and drink the milk in the morning.
- Eat 5-7 raisins at bedtime after removing seeds daily
- Drink a glass of Hot milk with Jaggery at Bedtime
Note: Blood sugar patients are not advised to take Raisins and Jaggery
What Types Of Laxatives Treat Constipation
Lubricant laxatives contain mineral oil as either the plain oil or an emulsion of the oil. The oil stays within the intestine, coats the particles of stool, and presumably prevents the removal of water from the material. This retention of water results in the softer stool. Mineral oil generally is used only for short-term treatment since its long-term use has several potential disadvantages. The oil can absorb fat-soluble vitamins from the intestine and, if used for prolonged periods, may lead to deficiencies of these vitamins. This is of particular concern in pregnancy during which an adequate supply of vitamins is important for the fetus. In the very young or very elderly in whom the swallowing mechanism is not strong or is impaired by strokes, small amounts of the swallowed oil may enter the lungs and cause a type of pneumonia called lipidpneumonia. Mineral oil also may decrease the absorption of some drugs such as warfarin and oral contraceptives, thereby decreasing their effectiveness. Despite these potential disadvantages, mineral oil can be effective when short-term treatment is necessary.
Hyperosmolar laxatives may be digested by colonic bacteria and turned into gas, which may result in unwanted abdominal bloating and flatulence. This effect is dose-related and less with polyethylene glycol. Therefore, gas can be reduced by reducing the dose of
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I Evaluated My Emotions
Personally, I saw that my repressed emotions during my stressful marriage showed up metaphorically in the form of constipation.
So, I recommend taking time to evaluate your feelings and ask yourself some questions: Is there something you’re withholding? Maybe something you’re not in communication about that you need to be? Are you silently stuffing your emotions or even denying that they exist?
Holistic health is achieved not only by eating well and being active but by processing and allowing yourself to experience your authentic feelings.
Get Into A Squat Position
You probably dont consider how you poop, but there can be some benefits to rethinking your position.
Squatting or using a stool can help your stool pass more easily.
Some people learn maneuvers and techniques over time of how to pass stool that arent working for them, so it can be beneficial to re-teach the mechanics of stooling, says Dr. Garg.
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Know When To See A Doctor
Sometimes simple changes are not enough. If yourconstipation doesnt respond to treatments or changes in your diet, and if itlasts for weeks or months, Dr. Zutshi recommends getting yourself checked outto exclude more serious medical causes.
Its especially important to see a professional if you haveother symptoms such as dizziness, fatigue, cramping or spasms.
Chronic constipation can be a sign of conditions such as:
- Celiac disease
- Irritable bowel syndrome
Opioid-induced constipation is its own entity and shouldalso be treated by a physician, Dr. Zutshi says.
When To Call Your Doctor
Constipation can often be treated at home, but chronic constipation that interferes with quality of life warrants a visit to the doctor.
Unresolved chronic constipation can result in fecal impaction. With impaction, the bowels cannot be evacuated just by the normal muscle contractions that push stool out of the body. Medical intervention is usually needed.
Speak with your doctor if :
- You have a fever, rectal bleeding or recent weight loss.
- Your symptoms interfere with sleep.
- You are frequently constipated and have a family history of bowel disease.
- You can feel a lump or mass in your abdomen or rectum.
- You are over 50 years old and chronic constipation is a new problem for you.
- You have severe abdominal pain and vomiting.
- You are not passing gas.
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The Epidemiology Of Constipation
Chronic constipation is one of the most common gastrointestinal disorders, affecting about 15% of all adults and 30% of those over the age of 60. It can be a primary disorder or secondary to other factors.
Constipation is more prevalent in women and in institutionalized elderly people. It is associated with lower socioeconomic status, depression, less self-reported physical activity, certain medications, and stressful life events. Given its high prevalence and its impact on quality of life, it is also associated with significant utilization of health-care resources.
The Golden Rule Of Drinking Water While Eating Meal For Constipation Treatment
Drink Water as per the rule given below:
- Before Meal Always advisable
- Mid Meal Not to be taken unless necessary
- Just After Meal Not recommended at all
- Drinking water after an hour of finishing your meal Recommended drinking a lot of water
This is always recommended to drink water before meals. This helps in the improvement of digestion and avoiding constipation. But when you drink water in between your meal or after the meal causes indigestion, acidity, and constipation.
When you drink water just after the meal, it neutralizes hydrochloric acid and digestive enzymes. Neutralization of HCL and digestive enzymes causes indigestion. When partially digested food is passed into the small intestine. The nutrients are not absorbed fully in the small intestine. The partially digested food further passes into the colon . The stool or waste remains here for long hours. Because of this more water is absorbed by the colon and causes dry and hard stools.
Drinking water after an hour of finishing your meal helps push the food into the intestine. It promotes the absorption of nutrients in the small intestine. Moreover, the waste/stools still have enough water and some are absorbed by the colon. As a result, the consistency of stool is not dry or hard. This helps in passing the stools easily. The phenomenon falls under instant Indian home remedies for constipation.
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I Got Regular Massages
While there hasn’t been a lot of scientific research in this area yet, I personally saw that being under chronic stress during my bad marriage contributed to my digestive issues.
Plus, massage therapists can use certain techniques to coax the digestive system into moving properly and loosening everything up. A 2009 study in the International Journal of Nursing Studies found that abdominal massages significantly decreased constipation and led to more trips to the bathroom. A good abdominal massage by a licensed professional, in conjunction with drinking water, can be very effective.
What Should I Expect When I Talk To My Doctor About My Constipation
Talking to your doctor or anyone about your bowel movements is not the most pleasant of topics. Know that your doctor is there for you. Doctors are trained health professionals who have discussed just about every health topic you can think of with their patients.
Your doctor will first ask you questions about your medical history, bowel movements, and your lifestyle and routines.
- What are your current and past diseases/health conditions?
- Have you lost or gained any weight recently?
- Have you had any previous digestive tract surgeries?
- What medications and supplements do you take for other disorders and for the relief of constipation?
- Does anyone in your family have constipation or diseases of the digestive tract or a history of colon cancer?
- Have you had a colonoscopy?
Bowel movement history
- How often do you have a bowel movement?
- What do your stools look like?
- Have you noticed any blood or red streaks in your stool?
- Have you ever seen blood in the toilet bowl or on the toilet paper after you wipe?
Lifestyle habits and routines
- What food and beverages do you eat and drink?
- What is your exercise routine?
Your doctor will also perform a physical exam, which includes a check of your vital signs . He or she will use a stethoscope to listen to the sounds in your abdomen. Your abdomen will also be touched to check for pain, tenderness, swelling, and lumps.
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Bring Your Own Food To Events
It may be difficult to stick to a high-fiber diet when youre surrounded by all of the pizza, fried foods, and snacks often served at social events. To help avoid some of the temptation, bring your own high-fiber snacks, like nuts and fresh fruit, to parties. If youre attending a barbeque, for example, bring some fresh veggies to throw on the grill along with a package of whole wheat buns. Most people wont care that youre eating wheat bread instead of white bread, so you can stay on track with your high-fiber diet without ruining your plans.
Medical Causes Of Constipation
Constipation is sometimes symptomatic of underlying medical problems, such as:
- Slow transit some people naturally pass motions less often than most people. It seems their bowel pacemaker may be less active. These individuals are more likely to become constipated with minor changes in their routine.
- Anal fissure a tear in the lining of the anus . The person may resist going to the toilet for fear of pain.
- Obstruction the rectum or anus may be partially obstructed by, for example, haemorrhoids or a rectal prolapse.
- Rectocoele the rectum pushes through the weakened rear wall of the vagina when the woman bears down or strains.
- Hernia an abdominal hernia can reduce intra-abdominal pressure, which makes it more difficult to pass a motion.
- Abdominal or gynaecological surgery a combination of change in routine, strange surroundings, post-operative pain and codeine-containing analgesics is a potent cause of constipation and often needs preventive care.
- Irritable bowel syndrome characterised by abdominal pain, bloating, and either constipation or diarrhoea or alternating constipation and diarrhoea.
- Problems of the endocrine system such as hypothyroidism, diabetes or hypopituitarism.
- Tumour pain while trying to pass a stool could be a symptom of rectal cancer.
- Diseases of the central nervous system such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinsons disease or stroke are associated with an increased susceptibility to constipation.
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