It is defined as infrequent bowel movement or difficult passage of stool.
Most cases of constipation are temporary.Simple life style changes such as getting more exercises,drinking more fluids and eating a high fiber diet can go a long way towards alleviating constipation.
A person is constipated when he has two or more of the following for at least three months:
-Inadequate water intake
-Inadequate fiber in diet
-Inadequate exercise or immobility
-Eating large amount of dairy products
-Resisting the urge to have a bowel movement
-Overuse of laxatives
-Antacids medicines containing calcium or aluminium
-Medicines(Strong pain medicines,antidepressant,narcotics)
-Irritable bowel syndrome
Not having a bowel movement everyday doesn't mean that a person is constipated.If a person has had at least two of the following signs and symptoms for at least three of the past 6 months:
It is based on the symptoms given by the patient. Some investigations are:
1.Barium enema X-Ray
2.Sigmoidoscopy-A thin ,flexible tube is being passed through the anus and the sigmoid colon is examined.
3.Colonoscopy-Entire large intestine is examined by passing a thin,flexible tube.
4.Serum electrolytes-for electrolyte imbalance.s
5.Thyroid profile-for hypothyroidism.
1.Laxatives-Fiber supplements(Metamucil,konsyl),lubricants etc.
2.Other medications like chloride channel activators,5-HT-4agonists.
3.Diet and life style changes- A high fiber diet,regular exercise,adequate fluid intake etc.
It helps in regularization of bowel movement as well as the formation of stools of normal consistency.
It also reduces the dependency on laxatives,purgatives etc.