amiekendall By amiekendall, 15th Jun 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Health>General Health>Wellness

Many people are embarrassed to admit it, but as many as 14 million people in the UK suffer from constipation. But what does being constipated mean, how can you get things moving again and when should you seek medical advice?


What is it?
In general, constipation is when someone goes to the toilet less often than usual, or when it's difficult to pass a motion. It's a change from a person's usual pattern of bowel opening.

Some people pass a motion twice a day, some three times a week; the pattern is different for all of us. Although most people believe constipation means not passing motions at all, medically speaking it just means passing motions less often than you normally do.

A process called peristalsis, where the gut muscles contract, squeezes the food through the gut rather like toothpaste out of a tube. Between the mouth and the anus, the food passes through about nine metres of gut, and by the time it leaves your body all the available nutrients should have been absorbed into the body.

For smooth passage, bowel motions need to be large enough to help stimulate these gut contractions and soft enough to slide easily along the bowel.

Many people feel embarrassed, even guilty, when they're constipated. Millions of people experience constipation. Around one person in ten in the UK is believed to become constipated regularly.
What are the symptoms?
Common symptoms include:

•passing a motion less often than usual
•having to strain to pass a motion
•pain when passing a motion
•passing motions that are dry and hard, like rabbit pellets
•a feeling of incomplete bowel emptying
Sometimes straining may be ineffective and no motion is passed.

People with constipation may quickly feel full when eating. Bloating, nausea, even vomiting may occur. Straining may cause piles and rectal bleeding
What's the cause?
Common causes of constipation include:

•Lack of liquid
•Lack of dietary fibre
•Ignoring the urge to go to the toilet.
Other causes include some medications (such as painkillers), some medical conditions (for example, irritable bowel syndrome) and changes in environment (going on holiday).
What's the treatment?
Take regular exercise, drink at least eight glasses of water a day and eat more fibre, including bran cereals, wholegrain bread and rice, and at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day. Never ignore the urge to go to the toilet. Try to keep stress to a minimum.

Advice about suitable laxatives is available from your pharmacist or GP.

Seek medical advice if these measures don't help or if constipation is associated with severe abdominal pain, vomiting or passing blood or mucus in the motions.



Meet the author

author avatar amiekendall
i work 35 hours a week i am 23 yrs old i like to write reead and crochet. i am also studying bookkeeping and accounts. i lso write about what is in the news and poetry, i am writing for triond for over a year but not getting much from them.

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author avatar raman13
19th Jun 2010 (#)

$$$$$$ Impressive write !!!!!!!!

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