Constipation

What is Constipation

Constipation is defined in simple words as the inability of an individual to empty his bowels. It is generally defined as having less than 3 bowel movements per week. It occurs when the stool moves very slowly through the bowels making it very hard and dry.

In chronic constipation this symptom persists for several weeks.
Having an occasional constipation is very common and is not at all alarming but for few people it becomes chronic and can interfere with their daily routine life.

constipation problems

Causes & Symptoms

Causes:
  • One’s causing blockages in the bowel movement like anal fissure, bowel obstruction, bowel cancer, stricture’s , other abdominal cancer’s causing pressure on the bowel, rectocele ( internal prolapsed of the rectum )
  • Neurological problems like Autonomic neuropathy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s , Spinal cord injury or even stroke.
  • Pelvic muscles problems like failure to relax (Anismus) , weakness or improper co-ordination (dyssynergia).
  • Hormonal imbalance leads to fluid imbalance causing dry stools and ultimately constipation as happens in conditions like diabetes , Thyroid disorders and Pregnancy.
Symptoms:
  • If you are passing fewer than three stools a week
  • If you are having lumpy or hard stools
  • If you are straining to have bowel movements
  • If you are feeling as though there's a blockage in your rectum that prevents bowel movements
  • If you are feeling as though you can't completely empty the stool from your rectum
  • If you are needing help to empty your rectum, such as using your hands to press on your abdomen and using a finger to remove stool from your rectum.
Constipation may be considered chronic if you've experienced two or more of these symptoms for the last three months.

Complications :
Chronic constipation can lead to many complications such as Piles, Anal Fissure, Fecal impaction ( stool that simply cannot be expelled and gets stuck in the bowels ) , and Rectal prolapsed ( Bowel protruding out through the anus due to constant and forceful straining).

Treatments for Constipation

We at our centre have developed a comprehensive programme that deals with constipation exclusively. Here we do a detailed analysis of this condition and come out with the appropriate treatment policy that is tailored-made for every individual. It may be a change in the diet to include more fibre’s , relaxation technique’s, specially designed exercises to strengthen the pelvic muscles or even toilet-retraining as happens with some patients. Few patients may have to undergo an operation called STARR which is done with staplers to remove the obstruction. It is a minimally invasive operation with no cuts and is done completely inside the rectum with the help of specially designed staplers.