Chronic Constipation is for Real & is Miserable

Chronic Constipation is for Real & is Miserable

No one must tell us what chronic constipation means as we have all been there a time or two.  Maybe some of you haven’t realized that you are suffering from chronic constipation.  If you are having infrequent, difficult, incomplete evacuation of your bowel movements, less than three bowel movements a week, hard stools, straining, and sometimes you can’t pass stool in any form or fashion then you have chronic constipation.  There are approximately 63 million folks just in North America who suffer from this condition.

Some suffer so severely that they may wait for five to seven days and then give themselves enema after enema to see if that will work.  They are so miserable because they are so constipated.  Then they resort to what some call a bomb by taking over the counter laxatives by the handfuls and drinking the drink in the green bottle and waiting for the cramping to begin.

There are several causes of this appalling condition that no one wants to talk about.  There can be structural type lesions in your colon; your colon can have a narrowed area in it, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, thyroid disorders, pain medications, anti-seizure medications, meds for spasms, medications for blood pressure and many more that can cause chronic constipation.  If you are over 50, it could be a more severe type of bowel disease that could be causing your constipation, so be sure to see your doctor for a thorough diagnosis to rule out any ugly causes.

For example, hypothyroidism may develop so slowly that you do not realize it.  I can cause constipation, but you may also experience these other symptoms as well:  dry skin, fatigue, increased sensitivity to cold, irregular menses, brittle fingernails, loss of hair, impaired memory, and weight gain.

Hypothyroidism can be caused by other problems too:  pituitary disorders, congenital diseases, pregnancy, radiation therapy, Hashimoto’s disease, iodine deficiency, lithium and other medications, thyroid surgery, and cancer.

Diabetes being a hormonal problem can also cause constipation.  Here are some of the possible things you could experience if you have diabetes:  blurred vision, fatigue, chronic thirst, frequent urination, especially at night, weight loss.

If you are anxious and/or stressed out, this means that your sympathetic nervous system will become active and digestion will get put on hold.  General anxiety disorder may exhibit these symptoms: difficulty concentrating, insomnia, restlessness, irritability, and excessive worry.

And there is your good old friend depression that can cause problems for you with constipation for several reasons.  If you are depressed, you are more prone to stay in bed all day and therefore less physical activity.  You may eat more foods high in fat or sugar, and maybe you won’t want to eat at all.  Some of these can lead to constipation.  The following are some symptoms of depression:  suicidal thoughts, if you feel worthless, hopeless, in despair, loss of interest in the fun stuff you usually enjoy, angry outbursts, fatigue, and trouble concentrating.

The list goes on and on of the conditions that can cause you issues with constipation.  Pregnancy can make you one unhappy constipated person.  Hypercalcemia, Parkinson’s, bowel cancer, spinal cord damage, stroke, and bowel obstruction.

If your constipation is not caused by medications or foods or some medical condition it is called “functional constipation.”  There are three main reasons for functional constipation.  Normal transit constipation, evacuation or defecatory disorders, and slow transit constipation.  In normal-transit constipation, the stool passage rate that goes through your colon and your stool frequency is average, but patients feel like they are constipated.  Something as simple as changes in water content of your colon can play a role in this kind of constipation.  With slow-transit constipation, the passage of your stool through your colon is just slower than average, sluggish.  The defecatory disorders that can bring this type of constipation is dyssynergic defecation, prolapse of your rectum (where your rectum protrudes out through the opening of your anus), or a rectocele (outpouching of your rectum).  In the dyssynergic dysfunction, also called pelvic floor anismus or dysfunction, there is discoordination of the pelvic floor, rectal, anal sphincter musculature dealing with evacuation, and the abdomen.

To be diagnosed with chronic constipation you must have the presence of at least two of six of the following symptoms ranging over the past three months that are diagnostic of chronic constipation:  hard stools, straining, feeling of anorectal blockage, a sensation that you have not completely emptied, using manual maneuvers to help the stool move on out, and less than three bowel movements in a week.  It must occur 25% of the time.

Your doctor should always consider a possible “secondary” cause to be on the safe side.  Some of the red flag warnings are blood in the stool, unintentional weight loss, colon cancer in your family or if the symptoms started after you turned 50.

Some folks use the bathroom less often than others.  But, if you do suffer from chronic constipation I know it is bothersome.  There are so many natural colon cleansers on the market that work so great to cleanse your colon and get rid of the toxin build up by chronic constipation.  They are gentle and do not cramp and you will not believe how much better you will feel.

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