Constipation is the most common gastrointestinal complaint
in the United States,
affecting more than 4 million Americans and accounting for more than two
million visits to the doctor each year. While
the groups most often affected are women and adults over age 65, constipation
is also a significant problem for people
with cancer . Contributing factors include dietary and activity patterns,
anatomic considerations, pain medication, and a number of cancer treatments .
Though most constipation is temporary
and often perceived as a mere nuisance, persistent difficulty with bowel
movements can lead to long term complications, and there are rare cases of
constipation leading to serious illness and death. Given the potential negative
effects on health, it is important to recognize the factors contributing to
constipation and to practice effective management and prevention tactics.
Bowel motility is the complex function of the intestine
maintaining water balance in the stool...
Constipation and infant gastroesophageal reflux sometimes occur together, effectively doubling the misery since both constipation and reflux may cause fussiness and digestive discomfort.
Constipation is defined as hard, dry bowel movements. A constipated infant may cry out, strain, pull up her legs or have blood in the stool. Infant constipation may be caused by diet, medication or dehydration.
Keep in mind that an infant may strain and appear to be in pain when passing a bowel movement, whether or not she is constipated. In addition, there is a great deal of variability in the frequency of bowel movements so infrequent bowel movements do not necessarily mean your baby is constipated. Review your child’s symptoms with the doctor and get an accurate diagnosis first.
If your baby is constipated and has gastroesophageal reflux, she may be fussy and uncomfortable for several reasons. Since the digestive system is one long tube, a back up in the lower dig...
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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