Bowel movements are supposed to occur regularly and without issue.
However, there are times when your bowel movements could become difficult or too loosened, the latter of which results in diarrhea. If you’re finding it difficult to pass stools, there’s a possibility that you’re suffering from constipation, which is a frustrating health condition that can be difficult to manage if you don’t know what’s causing it.
There are several treatments that may benefit you once you’ve been diagnosed with constipation.
What Is Constipation?
Constipation refers to bowel movements that are difficult to pass or occur infrequently. When a person suffers from constipation, the condition can last anywhere from a few days to a few months. In some cases, the underlying cause of the constipation will need to be addressed before it dissipates. If you notice that you have had less than three separate bowel movements in a week, it’s likely that you’re suffering from a case of constipation.
While constipation is exceedingly common and shouldn’t create too many issues with your daily life, you might develop a chronic case of constipation, which can be much more severe and may start to affect how you live your life.
What Are the Symptoms of This Condition?
The primary symptom associated with constipation is passing less than three stools in a given week. However, there are a variety of additional signs that can accompany the primary symptoms. For instance, your stools may be hard or lumpy. You’ll likely feel a kind of blockage within your rectum that’s preventing any bowel movements. Many people who suffer from constipation find that they will need to strain in order to have bowel movements. If you’ve experienced a few of these symptoms off and on for several months, there’s a chance that you could be affected by chronic constipation.
What Causes Constipation?
Constipation typically occurs because the stool in your body is moving too slowly throughout the digestive tract or because it simply is not able to be properly eliminated from the rectum. If this occurs, the stool can become dry and hardened, which will make your bowel movements more difficult.
Some of the blockages in the rectum or colon that can cause constipation include colon cancer, an anal fissure, rectal cancer, or a bowel stricture, which refers to the colon becoming narrowed. Some of the other causes of constipation include diabetes, an under-active thyroid, a spinal cord injury, and multiple sclerosis. People who maintain a diet that’s low in fiber will also be at a heightened risk of suffering from constipation.
Available Treatments for Constipation
When diagnosed with constipation, the main treatments that you’ll be provided with center around lifestyle changes, laxatives, and possibly surgery. The lifestyle changes that you should focus on include increasing the fiber intake in your diet, exercising regularly, and never ignoring an urge to go to the bathroom. Laxatives include everything from fiber supplements to stool softeners, all of which are designed to soften the stool and make it easier to have bowel movements.