Causes of Constipation
- Lack of fiber in your diet
Barring other factors, your bowel movement could take place easily and regularly if you include sufficient amounts of fiber in your diet. The reason for this is that fibers provide bulk to your stool, and this will help in the swift elimination of your waste matter. In the absence of sufficient fiber, your stool becomes sticky, and become attached to the inner lining of your large intestines. Hence, it’s fast and easy elimination will be prevented.
- Lack of fluids
When your stool is dry, it will be very difficult for your intestines to eliminate it. Sufficient fluid is required to make your stool soft and less sticky. In addition, more fluid in the large intestine will also provide the necessary volume and bulk to stimulate the muscles to contract. When intestinal contraction takes place, your stool will be gradually moved towards the outside, effecting its expulsion from the body
- Lack of potassium
Potassium is an electrolyte very much required for the contraction of your intestines. If your dietary intake of potassium for several days and months is low, it could lead to constipation. This is very common among the elderly, whose nutrition has been compromised because of poor supervision and management of their diet.
Mobility and physical exercises
- Lack of physical exercise
When you lack physical exercise and active mobility, the contractions of your large intestine are lessened and very much reduced. In the absence of periodic and adequate contraction of your intestines, elimination of your stool will not take place. Thus, it is advisable that you have a daily physical exercise program, done either in a gym or in an outdoor place. If your schedule is so tight that you cannot implement a regimen of regular physical exercises, find simple and practical ways of being more physically active; such as walking when you go to your place of work, avoiding spending too long sitting either at your office or at home, and taking short breaks throughout the day. When you are shopping at the mall, walk briskly as you go from one store to another.
Diagnosis of Constipation
Diagnosis of constipation can be achieved by examining clinical history, as well as by physical examinations. Your first complaint usually is that for the last few days you have not moved your bowel, whereas before your problem started, your bowel movement has been very consistent.
When a physician examines your abdomen by doing palpation, he could, on some occasions, feel masses in your abdomen. When he performs a rectal examination, he could feel that your rectum is filled with feces. Thus, diagnosis of constipation could be arrived at by simply by thoroughly examining the patient’s medical history and proper physical examinations.
However, if your physician suspects more serious causes, then he will request an x-ray of the abdomen. He may also conduct a fecal blood exam to see if you are experiencing any internal bleeding or hemorrhoids as a result of constipation.