Constipation is decreased intestinal movements compared to normal. It can be defined as less and difficult defecation (<3 per week) and solid defecation in general.
What are the causes of constipation?
- Dietary habits: no dietary intake of fiber-rich nutrients (vegetables, fruits, grain, legume etc), insufficient fluid intake,
- Voluntarily blocking or delaying intestinal movements,
- Stress and anxiety disorders,
- Changes in routine daily life (pregnancy, travel etc.)
- Drug side effects
- Intestinal diseases causing obstruction (cancer, Crohn’s disease, diverticulitis etc),
- Surgical complication (intra-abdominal adhesions)
What are the clinical findings of constipation?
- Excessive straining or forcing
- Solid, mass-like stool
- Feeling of incomplete defecation
- Feeling of anorectal obstruction
- Feeling of distention and loss of appetite
- Rust-colored patches over tongue
What are the problems caused by constipation?
Constipation is a clinical condition that affects an individual’s quality of life and daily activities. It can cause several problems such as abdominal and anal pain, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting.
The first step in treatment are lifestyle changes and protective measures. Changes are made in dietary habits and exercise. Medical treatment is recommended if these measures fail.
How is constipation treated?
Fiber-rich products, which increases amount of stool, laxative agents and enemas are highly effective in treatment.