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What are the causes and remedies of chronic constipation?
Chronic constipation is a condition of uneasy, irregular or incomplete bowel movements. Its symptoms include hard pellets, less than three defecations a week, straining while excreting and incomplete evacuation. It occurs more in women in comparison to men and its vulnerability rises with age. What causes chronic constipation? • Colon Lesions: These could be due to colon cancer or colon narrowing. • Pre-Existing Health Disorders: Diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, pregnancy or thyroid disorders can lead to chronic constipation. • Medications: These include narcotics, pain killers, calcium channel blockers, anti-seizure medicines and antispasmodics. • Pre-Existing Bowel Diseases: These usually cause chronic constipation in the elderly. • Pre-Existing Constipation-Related Conditions: These include normal transit constipation (rate and frequency of defecation are normal though not perceived by the patient), slow transit constipation (stool passes slowly through the colon), and defecatory or evacuation disorders (dyssynergic defecation, rectal prolapse or rectocele). How to treat chronic constipation? Fiber-rich foods or fiber supplements like psyllium, methylcellulose, calcium polycarbophil, etc. work well in case of mild constipation. They add bulk to stool and are available as powders, pills and tablets. OTC laxatives are recommended for moderate or severe constipation. These help soften the stool and improve its frequency. For dyssynergic defecation, anorectal biofeedback and rectal prolapse and rectocele, surgery is prescribed.
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