<p><strong>What Is Constipation? </strong></p>
<p>Constipation is more a complaint than a disorder—in fact, it is the most common gastrointestinal complaint in the United States. Constipation is characterized by infrequent bowel movements with stools that are often hard and sometimes painful to pass. The condition results when intestinal contractions slow down, allowing more time for the bowels to remove water from food wastes.</p>
<p>The normal frequency of bowel movements varies greatly from person to person—it is perfectly normal for some people to have three bowel movements a day, while others have as few as three a week. Constipation involves the passage of hard stools less than three times in a week, usually accompanied by bloating and discomfort. Any change in a person’s usual frequency of bowel movements, however, may be a sign of a more serious underlying disorder.</p>
Well Doc, I am backed-up and barfing if you really want to know how I feel. The porcelain god is frowning on me from his throne in the sky. That medicine that you gave me has really got me plugged-up and hugging the toilet at the same time. Go figure! I would rather take the pain than have my innards all tied up in knots. No thank you! You can keep that junk called medicine.
Sound familiar; the list of side effects caused by many medications used to treat chronic pain includes: constipation and vomiting. Some people can have one without the other; some people can have both problems. Either way, gut problems are not fun and can actually prevent one from taking an adequate amount of pain medications. Fear of these side effects should not be a limiting factor for pain relief. Constipation and vomiting are both treatable and preventable.
Constipation is a common theme among those using opioid pain medications . These chemicals prevent the normal bowel muscle activity that pro...
Constipation refers to the passage of less than three stools per week, often associated with abdominal bloating, pain, hard stool, and straining. In patients with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), such as ulcerative colitis (UC) or Crohn’s disease (CD), constipation is rare, and patients more commonly experience significant diarrhea. However, there are specific situations in which constipation can be a major symptom of IBD.
Ulcerative colitis and constipation
People with UC limited to the rectum, referred to as proctitis, can experience constipation during a flare of the disease. Management of constipation in this setting involves treating the active UC, rather than treating the constipation itself. Mesalamine enemas and suppositories are very effective in treating mild to moderate flares of proctitis. Steroid foam suppositories can also be used in more severe cases or in those who do not respond to mesalamine. A probiotic called VSL#3 has been shown t...
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