Constipation is a condition of the digestive system, it is not a disease. Occurs when a person has irregular bowel movement, experiences hard feces that are difficult to eliminate. Stools are usually hard, dry and small in size. Constipation may be extremely painful, and in severe cases lead to symptoms of bowel obstruction.
Medically speaking, constipation is defined when a person has fewer than three bowel movements per week and severe constipation with less than one bowel movement per week. However, some people believe they are constipated if they do not have bowel movement every day.
Constipation can also alternate with diarrhea. This pattern is known as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
What causes constipation?
Constipation can be caused by slow movement of the stool through the colon.
As food moves through the colon, the colon forms waste products by absorbing water from the food. Muscle contractions in the colon push the stool toward the rectum. By the time the stool reaches the rectum it is hard and dry.
Hardening of the feces could be due to:
- lack of dietary fiber
- not enough physical activities
- medications - narcotic pain medications, antidepressants, anticonvulsants, iron supplements, calcium channel blocking drugs, aluminum-containing antacids
Some diseases and conditions:
- irritable bowel syndrome
- problems with intestinal function (chronic idiopathic constipation)
Changes in life and routine
Habit - to frequently suppress the urge to have a bowel movement can lead to disappearance of urges and result in constipation.
I wish that being famous helped prevent me from being constipated - Marvin Gaye