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...
The foods you eat may cause, worsen, or relieve constipation .
Normal poop (stool) patterns are different for everyone. Some people may have a bowel movement more than once a day while others may have one every 2 to 3 days. Normal stools should not be painful or difficult to pass.
Constipation is defined as bowel movements that are infrequent, hard or difficult to pass. Constipation may be a chronic (long-term) problem or occur occasionally. It may result from medications, a medical condition, not enough activity, or a diet too low in fiber or fluid.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) refers to a disorder that involves abdominal pain and cramping, as well as changes in bowel movements.
It is not the same as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which includes Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis .
Spastic colon; Irritable colon; Mucous colitis; Spastic colitis
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
There are many possible causes of IBS. For example, there may be a problem with muscles in the intestine, or the intestine may be more sensitive to stretching or movement. There is no problem with the structure of the intestine.
It is not clear why patients develop IBS, but in some instances, it occurs after an intestinal infection. This is called postinfectious IBS. There may also be other triggers.
Stress can worsen IBS. The colon is connected to the brain through nerves of the autonomic nervous system. These nerves become more active during times of stress, and can cause th...
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