Constipation is a common condition that can be easily prevented and treated. However, sometimes it can also be encountered as a finding of serious systemic diseases. In these cases, radiological and endoscopic examinations, drug treatments and rarely surgical treatment may be required.
How many times of defecation is normal?
Duty of large intestines is to absorb water in the stool and store the feces. Answer to the normal number of daily defecation may vary. Generally,
Defecation within 3 days at most,
No more than 3 defecation per day
No excess, prolonged strain during defecation,
Having the sense of complete discharge after defecation,
are accepted as normal.
There are three important factors that cause constipation; eating few pomace, low liquid intake and lack of physical activity On the other hand, different constipation causes must also be investigated. Definition of constipation varies among people.
Some people say they don?t feel the sense of defecation for days. Systemic diseases such as diabetes, hypothyroidism should be examined in these patients. In addition, long term depression and painkiller drug use decreases bowel movement and cause constipation. As a more serious condition, intestinal infections like diverticulitis, Crohn?s disease and tumors may block or slow the stool from going down by narrowing the bowel. However, it must be noted that new complaints such as diarrhea episodes after constipation, narrowed stool shape, swelled abdomen, gas and nausea.
Some patients describe constipation as a condition where the stool is rigid and requires excess strain to discharge. These patients may develop pain, fissure or haemorrhoid in the anus. Lack of pomace in the diet and delaying defecation during the day are main factors causing rigid stool. However, in addition to these, manual assistance during defecation, not fully discharging after defecation and going to the toilet again may accompany patients. These patients must be extensively examined for Pelvic Floor Diseases that cause constipation. Especially rectocele (vaginal herniation) and Rectal prolapse patients suffer from disrupted quality of life due to these long term obstructive constipation complaints.
Constipation can be generally treated with high pomace diet, stool softeners and life style changes. However, untreated constipation may cause hemorrhoid and anal fissure. More importantly, it must be noted that benign or malign colon and rectum diseases may also cause constipation complaint.