Constipation can be very embarrassing especially when your tummy becomes bloated without relief, you try to pass gas it, and you feel you want puke. Constipation makes go to the toilet less times than your normal visits to the toilet.
So what is constipation? Constipation refers infrequent bowel movement which results in hard stools and bloating. Fecal impact may result in bowel obstruction which in advance cases may lead to surgical procedures. From several studies, opioids has been indicated as one of the causes of constipation (this is referred to as opioid induced constipation).
Opioid induced constipation is highly related with certain drugs which are used to treat cancers, and chronic pain. This comes as a side-effect of drugs that contains opioids.
Infants also do experience constipation, this may be noticed in babies when they have protruding belly due to nutritious milk they sip from the breast. The milk nutrients get absorbed such that it leaves little content to be excreted, this is perfectly normal, but in situations where your baby over 1-3 years consume solid foods, if they do not pass stool or gas beyond 6-7 days you need to see your GP. It could be due to relaxation or inability of the intestines to contract rhythmically. Advance signs of constipation includes rectal bleeding which may lead to anemia.
Constipation during pregnancy occurs when there is abdominal discomfort, this may lead to pre-eclampsia and trouble passing stool. This may be caused by hormonal interactions which makes the intestinal muscles to relax thus expanding the uterus, and more pressure on the intestine.
Signs of constipation includes inability to pass gas and intestinal troubles.
Symptoms of constipation
The following are constipation symptoms you may see in adults and babies:
1. Hard lumpy stool: Hard lumpy stool, bloody or black stools in babies. This usually is a classical example of constipation symptoms and it should call for a concern, however you may use a different brand of food formula to ease constipation in babies.
2. Infrequent bowel movement (BMs): Those who have constipation oftentimes experience inability to go to the toilet frequently as they do, this may be caused by low-fiber foods such brown rice, wheat and bread, corn and vegetables. If you go fewer than 3 times to the toilet in a week you may be constipated.
3. Straining to pass stool: Another example of constipation symptoms is straining at stooling. This may be seen as breathing too deep when stooling, this may cause pouches (diverticula) to develop within the colon and may lead to further complications such anal bleeding. Hemorrhoids also present the same symptom you may actually be suffering from pile or hemorrhoid.
4. You may notice traces of bleeding in cases where the hard stool is irritating the rectal area.
5. General feeling of malaise
6. Stomach pain and discomfort.
7. Loss of appetite
8. Unexplained weight loss
9. Symptoms of constipation in children also include passing of foul-smelling gas poo and small hard pellet stool.
Symptoms of constipation may be alleviated if you can add high-fiber foods to your diet. You may also take fruits such as banana, apple, guava, oranges and water melon. Laxatives may also help to soften your stool. If you are pregnant, talk to your doctor first before you take any prescription medicine.
Rectal examination may be necessary for proper diagnosis and proper treatment.