Constipation is a general issue in most of the middle aged people. It occurs when the excreta passes in a slow way. The excreta is the extract of the food after digestion. One of the general reasons of constipation is dehydration occurred through some medications or diet. The stool passes slowly because it takes maximum amount of water from the stool. Due to that the stool becomes hard to move. It causes the rectum and the muscles around the anus and pelvic area swelled. It becomes hard and painful to pass the stool and occurs into constipation. Sometimes it also causes bowel blockage.

How it is diagnosed?

The doctor checks the rectum to diagnose constipation. He also checks the stool to find blood in it. If the doctor is unclear about the indications then he asks for a proper check up of the patient. The doctor may ask for some examinations which will include Sigmoidoscopy (checking the lower side of the large intestine) and colonoscopy (checking the whole large intestine). These tests are helpful in case of sudden occurrence of constipation.

Some other tests will help to know the reasons of the constipation. The X-Ray of abdomen is helpful in checking the bowel blockage. Some of the other examinations would check the movement inside the colon after the consumption of telemetry capsule. It may show some rings in the X-Ray of the medicine. The Anorectal Manometry shows the muscle movement and the rectal sensitivity. It is done through inserting a flexible tube (catheter) inside the rectum. The Defecography shows the cleaning of the rectum or the bowel movement in the laboratory.

The treatments of constipation

Tap water enema is a general method for cleaning. To use enema you need to lie down on the left side with bend knees. The enema solution should not exceed the body temperature. The recommended enema solution should flow at least 118 to 236 ml. of water. The enema is inserted into the rectum. The hardened stool moves easily, when the water of the enema is finished. In case the enema doesn’t help the patient to empty the digestive tract a doctor is required to do the work through his hands.

After the removal of the stool, the doctor suggests the patient to have fibre foods or to add some laxatives. Generally laxatives are used when the natural bowel movement doesn’t happen.

If the stool is not hardened, then the doctor uses some other options to treat constipation. He may add liquids and fibre in the diet of the patient. Some good sources of fibre are vegetables, high-fibre cereals and whole grain food. The fibre works excellent if it is taken with ample of liquids.

Stool softeners and laxatives are recommended if the diet is not enough for the patient. Laxatives are safe and can be used for a long time.

The osmotic agents help the large intestine to hold good amount of water to soften the stool so that it can be passed smoothly. These contain improper absorbed sugars and salts. The laxatives which contain magnesium and phosphate can cause kidney failure.

Prevention is always better than cure. High amount of water and liquid intake, good amount of fibre food and work out may prevent constipation.

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Billroth Hospitals, 43,
Lakshmi Talkies Road,
Shenoy Nagar,
Tamil Nadu, India.

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