Infrequent or hard-to-pass bowel movements, results in a condition commonly known as constipation. The problems include stools which are hard and dry, thus making it very difficult for someone to pass them normally. Associated symptoms of constipation also include abdominal pain, bloating, hemorrhoids, fecal impactions, or even anal fissures.
The frequency of bowel movements can be anywhere from three times a day to three times a week; this varies for each person and it depends on many factors. However, constipation results in these numbers dropping drastically, and without proper medical counsel, the condition can lead to a lot of complications down the line.
Common causes of constipation include
- The slow movement of stools within the colon which can result in a blockage, thereby causing fecal contents to solidify before it can be passed.
- Constipation can be an associated symptom of irritable bowel syndrome or celiac disease.
- This condition can also be caused due to certain pelvic floor disorders like urinary incontinence, fecal incontinence, and pelvic organ prolapse among others.
- Irritable bowel syndrome, which is often recognized by its distinct group of symptoms including diarrhea or abdominal pain, can also be the number cause of constipation.
There are also a number of medical issues that cause constipation. These include complications like:
Hypercalcemia: Hypercalcemia is an endocrine disorder and one of the common medical issues that cause constipation in adults. The condition results in high levels of calcium in your blood serum, which can lead to further complications like kidney stones, abnormal heart rhythm, and even cardiac arrests. Optimum blood serum levels need to be maintained in order to avoid these complications, among which constipation is also a symptom.
Hyperparathyroidism: This medical condition is a result of increased parathyroid hormone (PTH) levels in your blood, leading to health complications like osteoporosis which increases the risk of reduced bone density. Hyperparathyroidism does not directly result in constipation but can be one of the medical issues that cause constipation as a trigger response. The trigger can be associated to health complications like kidney stones and increased urination among others.
Hypothyroidism: Another endocrine medical disorder which results in low production of thyroid hormone. This condition is caused due to iodine deficiency, which can be treated with salt iodization.
Porphyria: Constipation is one of the leading symptoms of Porphyria, a condition which can further lead to complications like paralysis, low blood sodium levels, and even seizures. Porphyria tops the list of medical issues that cause constipation.
Chronic kidney disease: A medical condition which results in a gradual loss of kidney function over time. However, the chances of developing constipation as a major symptom will entirely depend on the severity of the medical condition.
Other possibilities for medical issues that cause constipation include diabetes, Mellitus, cystic fibrosis, celiac disease, systemic sclerosis, and colorectal cancer, among many others.
Treatment of constipation
Effective ways to treat constipation include treating the causes primarily to curb the condition at its core. Identifying the type of constipation which includes acute and chronic constipation is step one. Early diagnosis will lead to effective treatment with minimal side effects.