Constipation Myths And FactsBeing constipated means your bowel movements are tough or happen less often than normal. According to the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse, part of the National Institutes of Health, constipation is a condition in which you have fewer than three bowel movements in a week, and your stools are hard, dry, and small, making them painful and difficult to pass.
The frequency or time between bowel movements ranges widely from person to person. It may also be more difficult to pass stools and you Can you prevent constipation? may feel unable to empty your bowel completely. Colonic inertia: Your colon is not able to move stool efficiently to your bowels.
The study also highlighted six key symptom clusters that were commonly agreed upon across the study groups: abdominal discomfort, pain and bloating; rectal discomfort; infrequent bowel movements and hard stools; sensory dysfunction; flatulence and bloating; plus faecal incontinence.
A case series study (Meyer et al 1994) found that 39% of pregnant women reported symptoms of constipation at 14 weeks, 30% at 28 weeks and 20% at 36 weeks; this study may have resulted in overestimates, as routine iron supplementation was recommended for all pregnant women in the United Kingdom at the time the study was conducted.
Constipation as well as diarrhoea may be features in most muscular dystrophies, but this has only been investigated systematically in Duchenne's dystrophy, where colonic transit time is increased, and cases of psuedo-obstruction have been encountered.
Not only does weight become an issue, but diverticulosis (herniated bowel pockets filled with trapped fecal matter and caused by constipation), colon polyps (a tumor that rises from the colon's surface and then protrudes into the inside of the colon), and cancer can be down the road.
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A further complication is revealed in a new study by researchers from King's College London, in the UK, which finds that what many people see as constipation differs drastically from the definitions applied by doctors and contained in formal diagnosis guidelines.
Treatment usually begins with laxatives and stimulant medications to avoid the buildup of stool and soiling that can occur as a result of chronic constipation. With constipation, people also strain at the time of the bowel movement, pass hard dry stools, and have the sensation of an incomplete bowel movement.
Plecanitide (Trulance) changes stool consistency by increasing the amount of water into the GI lumen and increases gastrointestinal movement. Stool softeners are laxatives that work by promoting the absorption of more water from the colon. A poor response to the treatments mentioned above or a child < 2 weeks with constipation warrants further investigation to exclude an underlying disorder.