Constipation occurs when you have infrequent bowel movements hard stools and experience difficulty in passing stools. The most common cause of constipation is a change in diet or lack of adequate amount of fiber in it.
What is constipation?
Technically speaking, constipation means having bowel movements less than thrice a week . However, the frequency of bowel movements may vary from person to person. Regardless your bowel pattern, if you are constipated, you have difficulty in passing stools and it takes a lot of time and can be painful. Moreover, you feel as if you have not fully emptied your bowels.
What is the cause of constipation?
The food that we eat passes through the digestive tract wherein nutrients are absorbed . The partially digested food then moves to the small intestine and the large intestine where water is absorbed from the waste and solid matter called stool is formed. Sometimes the colon or the large intestine absorbs more water from the waste than it normally does. The stool becomes dry, hard and difficult to push out, resulting in a condition called constipation.
Some common causes of constipation are:
- Eating disorders
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Colon cancer
- Side-effect of certain medicines
- Parkinson’s disease
- Problem with the muscles of the digestive tract
- Problems with the nerves of the colon or the rectum
- Dietary changes
- Lack of fiber in the diet
Most common coast of constipation in children is functional (non organic)
Doctors prescribe laxatives to treat constipation in most of the cases. A surgery may be required in case constipation is due to some blockage in the rectum or the colon.
Diagnostic tests like colonoscopy or ano-rectal manometry may be advised to know the cause and type of constipation.