Learn about the causes of Constipation & find a practitioner in Auckland, Hamilton, Bay of Plenty, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin to help you overcome Constipation within New Zealand.
Therapies which may benefit Constipation
Constipation is a digestive condition, where difficulty is experienced
in bowel opening. Pain and straining may be experienced when passing
motions, and movements occur less often than usual. Other symptoms
include a feeling of incomplete emptying, and passing dry, hard faeces.
Causes of constipation
Constipation can be caused by a specific condition but most cases have
no underlying cause for concern. Identifying the exact cause of
constipation can be difficult but there are a number of factors which
increase the chances of being constipated.
The common factors causing constipation include:
Constipation can also be a side effect of taking certain prescription medicines such as:
- Lack of fibre – not enough fruit, vegetables or cereal in the diet
- Lifestyle changes – such as a change to routine or eating habits
- Toilet shyness – lack of privacy when using the toilet (such as public conveniences)
- Ignoring the urge to use the toilet and pass a stool
- Lack of movement – immobility or low levels of physical activity
- Lack of fluids - not drinking enough water
- Weight problems – overweight, underweight
women in the first trimester have an increased chance of suffering with
constipation usually. Hormonal changes causes the extra production of
progesterone which acts as a muscle relaxant. An increase in this
hormone prevents the natural movement of waste and stools through the
bowel because muscles find it more difficult to contract.
- Calcium supplements
- Iron supplements
- Epilepsy meds
It should be noted that constipation is rarely a sign of a serious underlying condition such as those mentioned above.
- Other conditions that cause constipation include:
- Colon cancer
- Rectal cancer
- Underactive thyroid
- Parkinson's disease
- Injuries to the spinal cord
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Kidney failure
- Anal fissures (small tears to the skin inside the anus)
Symptoms of constipation
People experience bowel movements in different ways and perfectly
healthy adults can go to toilet once a day while others may only go
every 3-4 days. Some children are likely to pass stools several times
in one day while others may only go 2-3 times per week.
symptoms of constipation typically involve difficulty passing a stool
or noticing that you pass stools significantly less than you're used
to. You may also find that passing a stool is less effective and your
bowel doesn't feel completely empty.
Passing a stool may become difficult because:
These symptoms may be followed by stomach ache, stomach cramps, bloatedness, nausea or poor appetite.
- It is dry and hard
- It is lumpy and hard
- It is abnormally large or small
Diagnosis of constipation
It is unlikely that you'll need a physical examination by a GP to
confirm constipation as a diagnosis can be made based on your symptoms
and questioning you about bowel habits, diet and lifestyle changes.
the GP suspects a more serious underlying problem they may perform a
physical examination. This will happen if you have dry and hard stools
collecting in the rectum (known as faecal impaction).
will feel your abdomen and then get you to lie on one side. They will
then use a lubricated glove and insert a finger into your rectum to
feel for any collected stools or problems.
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