Activity of the gastrointestinal tracts can vary widely. Established criteria identify chronic constipation when infrequent bowel movements are three times or fewer per week. However, people who eliminate stool no more than 3 times a week - suffer from chronic constipation. Those, who have to use a lot of energy to evacuate, should start to exercise and take natural supplements which regulate movement without damaging the flora.
Constipation is one of the most common complaints of many people, especially the elderly. Problems associated with emptying the colon are encountered by large percentage of people. In most cases, it is due to improper lifestyle and health conditions.
- slow peristaltic movement of the bowel
- deprived of water, hard stools
- difficult and painful defecation
Constipation in itself is not a disease. It is a sign of inadequate processes in the body. Given the great diversity of diseases that can cause constipation, you need to remember that chronic constipation should not be ignored, especially when a new condition of constipation alternates with reoccurring diarrhea.
The cause of the problems with constipation could be organic disease (such as obstruction of the bowel by polyps, stones, after inflammation narrowing of intestine), which prevent movement of partially digested food in the bowel.
Other causes of chronic constipation could be drugs (such as antidepressants), hormonal disorders (underactive pituitary glands, overactive thyroid), electrolyte disorders, diseases of nerve and muscle.
Diagnosis of constipation includes biochemical tests (e.g. blood test for latent feces), endoscopy (e.g. colonoscopy), visualization (e.g., ultrasound), and contrast of the colon or microscopic stretches examination.
Particular attention should be paid to signs of cancer that may cause constipation. Vital symptoms suggesting or indicating the development of cancer is the general malaise, weight loss in a short period of time, the appearance of blood in the stool or feces formed in a narrow ribbon resembling a pencil.
Habits as a reason for constipations
Remember that the thick intestine usually shows peak activity morning. This is the best moment for the body to eliminate, also after getting out of bed rapidly changes position from horizontal into vertical, there is a pressure of feces on the rectum. Unfortunately haste, preparation for work or school, causes reflex inhibition of the body and suspension of elimination. After some time, disruption of the body work makes morning reflex disappears. That is how habit caused constipation change into chronic constipation.
Another reason for problems in elimination is inadequate nutrition. Diet rich in overly large quantities of heavy food, animal fats and carbohydrates in white flour causes constipation. These foods stay in the stomach and intestines for prolonged period of time.
In the prevention of constipation, the most important thing to do, is to consume large amounts of fiber. Fiber is part of plant products which the body is not digesting, but it stimulates work (pushing the food) of the digestive tract, it also binds and removes from the body remains of food. Fiber increases stool volume, refuses the consistency from being too hard (absorbing water, causing softening feces) and facilitates its transition by the intestine.
Changing eating habits can cause elimination of chronic constipation. Please eat less white bread, but a lot of fiber-rich vegetables and fresh fruit, healthy juices and nectars containing fruits or vegetables.
It is known however, that a lot of fiber-rich foods must be implemented gradually. A too rapid introduction of large amount of fiber may cause abdominal pain and flatulence
It is also good to know which substances contained in the diet are conducive to emptying the bowel and which ones slow down evacuation.
- some foods which help with elimination are: black bread, raw vegetables and fruits, dried fruits, bread containing significant amounts of bran, barley, oat, meat with large amounts of connective tissue; marinades, herrings, sausages, beer, and sour milk products; such as curd, kefir, yogurt.
- some foods which slow down elimination are: dry berry, strong black tea, cocoa, red wine, white bread, sticky substances such as pudding and chocolate.
Another factor increasing the likelihood of chronic constipation is rapid swallowing of food and irregular eating. Under those conditions body has difficulty in digestion. Food stays in the intestines for prolong time and causes excessive fermentation. Trapped hard stool is rarely and with difficulty eliminated.
The solution to removal problem of chronic constipation is consumption of food at fixed times, slowly, careful rumination and without overeating.
One of the reasons for the emergence of constipation is insufficient consumption of fluids. The stool is too hard and dense.
How much should we drink? About 2.5 - 3 quarts of fluid a day. Juices with a lot of fiber (fruit and vegetables) and regular still mineral water are the best. Regulating effect on stool excretion may have a morning glass of water with a spoon of honey and a lemon juice.
Lack of exercise, motionless and stationary lifestyle, lack of physical activity - also causes constipations. The movement has a positive effect on all the systems of our body, including on the digestive system.
Improvement may be a daily walk, bikeride, swimming or a regular light streching. Active daily routine instead of spending time in front of TV will favorably affect health.
Significant role in chronic constipation play on stress factors. They have impact on the functioning of the so-called vegetative nervous system, regulating operation of internal organs. Psychological stress: depression, fear, long-term disruption of rhythm of work and leisure, - all can affect the manifestation of chronic constipation. Discharging stressful situation, avoiding conflicts, the rhythm of life, all will act positively upon your health.
Medications vs. constipation.
There are many different laxatives. However, one should proceed cautiously with them. Laxative taken from time to time are indicated in acute constipations. They increase the amount of water in the gut contents, making stool soft and easier elimination. Over time, the effectiveness of laxatives decreases and there is a need to increase their dosages. Long-term laxative treatment can cause reverse effects and in time problems may become more serious.
Complications of Chronic Constipation
The persistent constipation can cause various complications. Large bowel inflammation may appear. Chronic condition may create fecal stones causing an intestine ulcer, and in extreme cases obstruction. Long-term constipation fosters the emergence of various diseases of rectum and anus.