Constipation – Essential Signs and Symptoms

Constipation is a condition of the digestive system, in which you typically experience hard feces that are quite difficult and often, painful to expel. This usually happens as the colon absorbs too much water from the food. If the food moves through the gastrointestinal tract too slowly, the colon might absorb too much water that results in feces that are dry and hard. This is not a laughing matter.

In common constipation, the stool is difficult, hard and painful to pass. Typically, you want to avoid straining as it may cause hemorrhoids. If you choose to ignore the situation, your stomach may become bloated and diffusely tender. Some people even experience terrible stomach cramping.

The official definition of constipation includes:

* Infrequent bowel movements (3 times or fewer every week)
* Difficulty during defecation
* The sensation of incomplete bowel evacuation.

Severe cases may result in symptoms of bowel obstruction, vomiting, a tender stomach and a sort of paradoxical diarrhea, where soft stool from the small intestines bypasses the impacted matter in the colon.

Clearly this is not a situation to be ignored and so treatment is an important health matter that must be addressed. The treatment of constipation for those without major medical problems, the main intervention is to increase the intake of fluids and dietary fiber. The latter may be also achieved by consuming more vegetables, fruits, whole grain bread, and other items, such as baked beans and chickpeas which can do much to add extra fiber to your diet.

Using laxatives to treat constipation is not recommended as it may result in bowel movements becoming dependent on the use of routine laxatives. Enemas can be also used to give a kind of mechanical stimulation, but it is generally used only for stool in the rectum not in the intestinal tract. Again, not something that you should become dependent on.

Lactulose, which is a non-absorbable synthetic sugar that keeps sodium as well as water inside the intestinal lumen, relieves constipation. Among other remedies that your physician might suggest include, fiber supplements, milk of magnesia, lactitiol, sorbitol, lubricants and the like may be of value.

So, constipation is absolutely not a health condition that you can ignore. Unfortunately, it is a condition that you might find embarrassing; however, you simply must talk with your health care provider about it so that it can be addressed before it gets to bad. After all, your health depends on you taking care of even the most embarrassing situations.