A syndrome defined by the symptoms of the bowel, Constipation is one of the most common digestive complaint in the United States. Straining to defecate, hardness of the stool, the feeling of incomplete evacuation, fewer than three bowel movements per week and reduced stool frequency, is what makes Constipation a syndrome rather than a disease. This was stated in accordance with the Rome III symptom criteria for Constipation that requires at least two of the symptoms stated above to be experienced by the patient in 3 months time to fit the criteria of chronic constipation.
Constipation is seen to affect people of all age group; infants and adults and a consequence of many factors combined. It happens when the food passes through the digestive tract slower than usual, and the colon ends up absorbing excessive amount of water; making the feces dry and hard. Defecation or the emptying of the bowels becomes extremely painful and the sufferer's colon ends up storing about 10-20 lbs of stool even more than usual. It is estimated that one is every three child and one is every seven adults in the UK suffer from constipation at one time. The condition is also said to affect women twice as more as men and the probability increases with age and in pregnancy.
Although occasional constipation is every common and should not strike much of a worry factor, chronic constipation is what hinders the ability to perform daily activities of the individual, and can affect the body and mind in the long run. Complications from chronic constipation includes:
# Rectal Prolapse: Putting excessive pressure to restore bowel movement may cause a small amount of rectum to permanently stretch and protrude from the anus.
# Hemorrhoids: Is a condition when the blood vessels in the anal region get swollen due to the straining done to have bowel movements.
# Anal Fissure: Is the torn skin in your anus due to the accumulation of dry and hard stool.
Before ruling out the diagnoses for Constipation, one should pay a visit to the doctor to overrule it as a sign of these underlying conditions:
* Irritable Bowel Syndrome
* Hypercalcaemia- excessive amount of calcium in the blood stream
* Under active Thyroid gland
* Multiple sclerosis- a condition that affects the nervous system
* Parkinson's disease- where the brain loses the ability to monitor and control the co-ordination of the body
* Bowel Cancer
* Inflammatory bowel disease- a condition in which the intestines are swollen
* Spinal Cord injury
However, with the correct diagnoses, Constipation is a treatable condition with a variety of home remedies and DIY's that have proven itself effective in treating it.