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All about constipation causes of constipation symptoms of constipation risk factors for constipation complications of constipation diagnosis of constipation treatments to cure constipation constipation remedies prevention of constipation infant constipation causes of baby constipation treatments for child constipation constipation during pregnancy Articles in signs and symptoms of digestive diseases - diarrhea vomiting nausea gas in the digestive tract heartburn constipation

What are the complications of constipation?

Haemorrhoids are swollen veins at the anus, caused by straining at a stool over a long period of time. If large enough they will be visible from the outside. They can be painful or cause local bleeding. The bowel in someone who has abused laxatives over a long period of time becomes sluggish and eventually dependent on the use of these drugs. Hernia (bulging

of the abdominal contents through a weak point in the abdominal wall) is made worse by too much straining when trying to get rid of hard stools. A prolapse of the womb or rectum results from excess straining and weakness of the muscles in this area.

Most cases of constipation are due to inadequate dietary fiber intake, inadequate water intake, and/or reduced physical activity and, as such, are not serious. Constipation not responding to simple measures or symptoms that persist over six weeks signal a need for medical evaluation. Other symptoms such as weight loss, rectal bleeding, abdominal pain, or the discovery of anemia also require a full investigation. Your doctor can help you sort out the many possible causes and plan a course of treatment. In addition to obtaining a medical history and performing a physical exam, he may request some blood tests, and a special scope evaluation of the colon.

Fecal impaction, in which the stool in the last part of the large intestine and rectum hardens and blocks the transit of other stool, sometimes develops in people with constipation. This condition is particularly common among older people, pregnant women, and people with colonic inertia. Fecal impaction leads to cramps, rectal pain, and strong but futile efforts to defecate. Often, watery mucus or liquid stool oozes around the blockage, sometimes giving the false impression of diarrhea. Fecal impaction can aggravate or further worsen constipation.

More information on constipation

What is constipation? - Constipation is a condition in which too much water is absorbed from the large intestine back into the bloodstream, leaving the faeces dry, hard and difficult to expel.
What causes constipation? - Constipation is caused by a lack of fibre in the diet. In some people, constipation may result from repeatedly ignoring the urge to have a bowel movement.
What are the symptoms of constipation? - Symptoms associated with constipation include infrequent bowel movements, hard stools, straining when passing a motion, cramps, abdominal bloating, flatulence.
What're risk factors for constipation? - Risk factors for constipation include not enough liquids, lack of exercise, medications, irritable bowel syndrome, abuse of laxatives, and specific diseases.
What are the complications of constipation? - Most cases of constipation are due to inadequate dietary fiber intake, inadequate water intake, and reduced physical activity and are not serious.
How is constipation diagnosed? - The patient's observations and medical history help diagnose constipation. Other diagnostic procedures include a barium enema, which reveals blockage inside the intestine.
What's the treatment for constipation? - The first treatment for constipation is to eat a high fiber diet to provide natural bulk in daily food intake. Laxatives may be used to relieve constipation.
What're the alternative remedies for constipation? - Herbal therapies can be useful in the treatment of constipation. Homeopathy also can offer assistance with constipation.
How to prevent constipation? - Dietary modifications can correct constipation. Daily use of 500 mg vitamin C and 400 mg magnesium can prevent constipation.
What is infant constipation? - Constipation is a very common and frustrating problem in children. Constipation is most commonly caused by a diet that is low in fiber.
What causes baby constipation? - Constipation in children usually is due to poor bowel habits. Bottlefed babies suffer from constipation because formula milk is harder for a baby to digest.
What're the treatments for child constipation? - Constipation is best treated by making changes in your child's diet. The goal of treatment is for your child to have one to two soft stools each day.
Constipation during pregnancy - Pregnant women may experience constipation, which can be very uncomfortable. Constipation is a common problem during pregnancy. 
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All information is intended for reference only. Please consult your physician for accurate medical advices and treatment. Copyright 2005,, all rights reserved. Last update: July 18, 2005