5 causes of chronic constipation

Chronic constipation is a condition where irregular or painful bowel movements last for more than three months. Symptoms can include passing stools just once or twice in a week, hard stools, need for straining to pass stools and feeling of incomplete evacuation.

Chronic constipation treatment can involve treating the underlying cause and making some healthy changes.

Constipation occurs due to difficulty in passing stools. Any possible constipation treatment takes into consideration the cause of the problem, which can range from mild to serious health problems.

Colon Blockages
Blockages in the rectal or anal area can affect normal bowel movements. Treatment for constipation in such cases would be to take care of the reason of any such blockages. These may include –

  • Cancers of the colon, rectum or abdomen
  • Rectocele or bulge in the rectal area through vagina’s back support
  • Anal fissures
  • Bowel stricture or the colon becoming narrow
  • Obstructions in the bowel

Hormonal Problems
Hormonal imbalance can cause constipation by disturbing the balance of fluids in the body. Treatment of constipation in such cases would be to help balance the hormones. These may include –

  • Thyroid problems
  • Diabetes
  • Pregnancy (often no treatment is required)

Pelvic Muscle Problems
Pelvic muscles may not work properly and cause constipation. Chronic constipation treatment in such a case may include exercises to strengthen pelvic muscles or surgeries.
Problems include:

  • Weak pelvic muscles.
  • Anismus or pelvic muscles not able to relax for bowel movements.
  • Dyssynergia or inability of pelvic muscles to coordinate muscle movements.

Neurological Problems
Problems with colon or rectal nerves can make bowel movement difficult. In such cases, chronic constipation treatment may involve treatment and management of the nerve disorder. These problems can be:

  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Stroke
  • Injury in the spine
  • Autonomic neuropathy
  • Parkinson’s disease

Lifestyle Problems
An unhealthy lifestyle can cause constipation. Chronic constipation treatment may be about lifestyle modifications. Some examples:

  • A diet lacking in fiber
  • A diet rich in fatty foods
  • Lack of exercise
  • Excess weight
  • Insufficient water consumption

With proper diagnosis chronic constipation is a treatable condition.

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