Constipation has different meanings for different people. For most people, it refers to infrequent stools. Many term difficulty in passing stools or a feeling of emptiness after the bowel movement to be constipation. The causes for these kinds of constipation’s are different as well and the treatment for each one of them is thereby done accordingly.
The normal pattern of bowel movement is once a day. However, this pattern is observed in below 50% of the people. In medical terms, constipation is referred to bowel movement of less than three times per week. Having little or no bowel movement for up to three days isn’t much of a physical discomfort for most people but it may cause mental distress to some. Constipation is said to be severe when a person has one or no bowel movement for the whole week. Many people are of the opinion that it is the accumulation of toxins that causes infrequent bowel movements and that constipation may also lead to cancer. But this is not true! So, let us see what are the real causes of constipation?
Causes of constipation
Theoretically speaking, constipation is caused by the gradual passage of the digestive food from the intestine. Nonetheless, in most cases, this gradual movement occurs in colon of the intestine.
Medications are also a commonly over-looked reason of constipation. Some of the most offending medicines in this regard are: antidepressants like amitriptylene, narcotic pain medicines like codeine, Iron supplements, Calcium drugs that may block channel like diltiazem and many others.
Constipation caused by medications is usually easily treated by simple measures and it may not be necessary to discontinue the medications every time. Though, if simple measure doesn’t prove to be of much help, you may consider substituting it with other medications that doesn’t lead to constipation. For instance, you may substitute ibuprofen, which is an anti-inflammatory and non-steroidal drug with any of the suitable narcotic pain medicine.
How is it evaluated?
A careful physical examination and history of the constipation patient is necessary to know for a Doctor to know the kind of constipation the patient is suffering from. Thereafter, this helps to assess the right analysis and treatment. For instance, when the defecation of the patient is painful, the Doctor knows that he has to focus on anal problems like anal fissure and others. Blood tests, barium anema, abdominal X-ray, defecography, colonic motility studies, colonic transit studies and ano-rectal motility studies are some of the tests that are suggested by physicians to patients according to the kind of constipation they are suffering from.
Treatment for constipation
There are several treatments that are available for constipation. However, the best method is to know the underlying cause of constipation and then decide for the right treatment option. Dietary fiber, hyperosmolar laxatives, emollient laxatives, lubricant laxatives, saline laxatives, saline laxatives, stimulant laxatives, enemas, lubiprostone are some of the treatment options that can give you a relief from constipation problems.
Besides, Misoprostil, Orlistat and Colchicine are a few drugs that can prove to be useful in the treatment. Last but not least, for people whose constipation is the resultant of the laxative or colon abuse, the best treatment is to go for a surgery. Hence, there are a variety of treatments that are available for constipation, a good physician would be able to suggest you the best one for you.