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Dx Constipation Treatment Drugs: Read More...


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Observation:
Constipation

The Merck Manual Home Edition states:
"Constipation is difficult or infrequent bowel movements, hard stool, or a feeling that the rectum is not totally empty after a bowel movement (incomplete evacuation).

  Constipation may be acute or chronic. Acute constipation begins suddenly and noticeably. Chronic constipation may begin gradually and persists for months or years.
  Many people believe they are constipated if they do not have a bowel movement every day. However, daily bowel movements are not normal for everyone. Having less frequent bowel movements does not necessarily indicate a problem unless there has been a substantial change from previous patterns. The same is true of the color, size, and consistency of stool. People often blame constipation for many symptoms (such as abdominal discomfort, nausea, fatigue, and poor appetite) that are actually the result of other disorders (such as irritable bowel syndrome [IBS] and depression). People should not expect all symptoms to be relieved by a daily bowel movement, and measures to aid bowel habits, such as laxatives and enemas, should not be overused. However, people may harmlessly help relieve their symptoms by eating more fruits, vegetables, fiber, and cereals.

Complications:
The complications of constipation include:
*Hemorrhoids
*Rectal prolapse
*Anal fissure
*Diverticular disease
*Fecal impaction

Excessive straining during bowel movements increases pressure on the veins around the anus and can lead to hemorrhoids and, rarely, protrusion of the rectum through the anus (rectal prolapse). Passing hard stool can cause a split in the skin of the anus (anal fissure). Each of these complications can make having a bowel movement uncomfortable and make people reluctant to move their bowels. Putting off bowel movements can cause a vicious circle of worsening constipation and complications.

Diverticular disease can develop if the walls of the large intestine are damaged by the increased pressure required to move small, hard stools. Damage to the walls of the large intestine leads to the formation of balloon-like sacs or outpocketings (diverticula), which can become clogged and inflamed (diverticulitis). Diverticula sometimes bleed and rarely rupture (causing peritonitis).

Fecal impaction, in which stool in the rectum and last part of the large intestine hardens and completely blocks the passage of other stool, sometimes develops in people with constipation. Fecal impaction leads to cramps, rectal pain, and strong but futile efforts to defecate. Sometimes, watery mucus or liquid stool oozes around the blockage, which gives the false impression of diarrhea (paradoxic diarrhea). Fecal impaction is especially common among older people, particularly those who are bedridden or have decreased physical activity, pregnant women, and people who have been given barium by mouth or as an enema for certain types of x-ray tests."

Medications Used in Treatment:
1. Osmotic Laxative
2. Stool Softeners
3. Chloride Channel Activators
4. Stimulant Laxatives
5. Osmotic/ Stimulants
6. PGC-C Agonists
7. Stool Softener/ Stimulants

Suggested Links:
*N.H.S. Choice
*Medscape

*[Editor] Constipation can be a sign of low thyroid.


*[Editor] Order thyroid and simple laboratory functions online.

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