The anesthesia causes constipation

Constipation: causes, symptoms, and treatment

Feeling of fullness, bloating and painful pressing during bowel movements are annoying side effects of constipation and can make life difficult. The causes of this are often harmless, but in some cases they can be attributed to serious illnesses.

Constipation is one of the most common gastrointestinal complaints. Every fourth person in Germany is regularly affected.

Definition: what is constipation?

Doctors speak of constipation when the stool is very hard over a long period of time and the bowel can be emptied less than three times a week and only by pressing hard. A distinction is made between acute constipation due to a sudden change in lifestyle and chronic constipation.

Women are affected twice as often as men. In addition, older people often complain of hard bowel movements. One of the reasons for this is that they exercise less or regularly take medication that causes constipation.

Causes of Constipation

One of the most common causes of constipation is slowing down of the passage of stool through the colon. There, a lot of fluid is withdrawn from the stool by staying there for a long time. It thus becomes firm and hard on its way to the rectum. This makes it difficult to empty the bowel.

Constipation caused by constipation is usually only temporary and can be treated well with home remedies. But there are also serious diseases that can be behind constipation.

Constipation can be caused by any of the following:

  • Wrong diet with too little fiber: This makes the intestine sluggish.
  • hemorrhoids: They form in the rectum and can make it difficult to defecate.
  • Anal fissures / abscesses: You too make it difficult to pass stool.
  • Irritable bowel syndrome: Irritable bowel syndrome is one of the most common causes of chronic constipation. Cramps in the bowel slow down bowel movement and can lead to constipation.
  • Bowel dysfunction:Functional disorders of the large intestine can slow down the movement of stool. As a result, the stool takes twice as much time to get into the rectum and is usually very hard.
  • Medication such as pain killers, antidepressants, neuroleptics, antihypertensive drugs, and iron supplements can contribute to the hardening of the stool.
  • Metabolic diseases (Diabetes and hypothyroidism)
  • Nervous system disorders (Multiple sclerosis or Parkinson's disease)
  • Inflammatory bowel disease like Crohn's disease or diverticulitis
  • Colon cancer / colon polyps: Benign and malignant tumors can impede the movement of stool.
  • Psychological causes: Some people react to psychological stress such as a change of environment or unsatisfactory work or family relationships with constipation.
  • Changes in hormonal balance during pregnancy, breastfeeding and menopause
  • Suppressed bowel movements: Many sufferers consciously or unconsciously suppress their bowel movements again and again because the quiet place cannot be reached quickly enough or because the necessary privacy to go to the toilet is simply lacking. This also slows down the activity of the bowel.
  • Operations:Constipation often occurs after an operation. The main reason is the temporary restriction of movement after the operation. In addition, anesthetics or medication can affect bowel function.

Sometimes no organic cause for the constipation can be found: Doctors then speak of idiopathic constipation. A classic example of this is constipation on vacation. The reason here is usually only a temporary adjustment disorder to an unfamiliar daily routine and foreign foods or spices.

Preventing diarrhea: fiber and exercise will help

In many cases, constipation is caused by poor diet. Fiber-rich foods, adequate hydration, exercise, and exercise can usually resolve the problem quickly. Nutrition experts recommend around 35 grams of fiber per day for complaints with constipation. This corresponds to about a daily ration consisting of two slices of whole grain bread, three potatoes, an unpeeled apple, a small tomato salad, an unpeeled pear and around 200 grams of broccoli.

The following foods are particularly rich in fiber:

  • Spelled and oat flakes
  • Whole grain bread
  • legumes
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Amaranth and bran
  • Dried fruits
  • fruit and vegetables

Symptoms: This is how constipation manifests itself

The signs that are typical of constipation vary from person to person and depend on the cause of the indigestion. The following symptoms can occur as a result of constipation:

  • Bloating
  • Bloated, hard stomach
  • stomach pain
  • Flatulence
  • Hard bowel movements
  • Low stool volume
  • Strong straining when defecating
  • Lack of emptying of the bowels
  • Loss of appetite and general malaise
  • Sharp pain in the rectum
  • Anal pain caused by pressing

With constipation that extends over several days, many sufferers complain of tiredness and listlessness. Even if constipation can severely reduce the quality of life, there is nothing to worry about from a medical point of view. No dangerous toxins build up if there is no bowel movement or if there is little bowel movement.

However, you should be prudish if there is blood in your stool, the stomach pain is colicky or you lose weight noticeably. In this case, it is advisable to consult a doctor quickly.

These home remedies solve bowel movements

in many cases there is no need to resort to laxatives. There are numerous home remedies that have proven effective for hard bowel movements that will quickly resolve constipation:

  • Water: It should be two to three liters a day. A glass of warm water immediately after getting up stimulates the gastrocolic reflex and thus the intestinal activity.
  • Olive oil, linseed oil, castor oil: A tablespoon before breakfast makes the stool smoother.
  • Prunes or Plum juice for breakfast. Dried figs have a similar laxative effect and contain a lot of fiber that stimulates the bowel.
  • Flea seeds, bran or flaxseed: Their swelling effect increases the volume of the stool and thus stimulates the bowel movement.
  • Natural yoghurt is a natural probiotic that also supports bowel function. Other probiotic foods like sauerkraut, kefir, and apple cider vinegar are also good for indigestion.
  • Movement and sport:Anyone who moves at least half an hour every day naturally stimulates their bowel movements.
  • Caffeine:A cup of coffee or tea in the morning gets the bowel going, because the caffeine (or teaein) it contains stimulates digestion.
  • herbal tea: Warm fennel or chamomile tea also have a positive effect on the intestines and also prevent flatulence.
  • Warmth: A hot water bottle on the stomach promotes blood circulation and stimulates the bowel movement
  • Massages: Gentle abdominal massages activate the intestines.
  • Milk sugar:It is broken down by bacteria in the large intestine into glucose and galactose and then broken down into lactic acid and acetic acid. These two acids have a laxative effect.
  • Enema: An acute constipation can be resolved very easily and quickly with an intestinal enema.

In detail: These home remedies solve constipation

Probiotic foods: what are there and what can they do?

Treatment: constipation with laxatives

Home remedies are not always enough to get the bowel going again. If all natural measures do not help, laxative medication can also be used. A distinction is made between so-called filling and swelling agents, osmotic laxatives and agents that stimulate bowel activity. Depending on the mechanism of action, there are intestinal stimulating and water-binding laxatives in the following dosage forms:

  • Suppositories
  • Coated tablets
  • drops
  • Powder to dissolve
  • Oral solution

But be careful: laxatives may not be taken for a long period of time due to the habituation effect. In addition, in the case of chronic constipation, it should be ruled out whether there are organic causes or serious illnesses behind it. Therefore, those affected should consult a doctor in any case before taking tablets.

In order to rule out diseases, the doctor carries out palpation examinations of the abdomen, stool analyzes and blood tests as well as ultrasound recordings and colonoscopies as part of his diagnosis.

Constipation in babies and young children

While adults speak of diarrhea when the bowel empties less than three times a week, different rules apply to babies and toddlers. For example, it is not uncommon for babies who are still breastfeeding to have no bowel movements for three to four days. The rule of thumb for infants is: five times a day or once every five days is within the norm. Constipation is also common when the baby is switched from breast milk to solid food. but diarrhea can also be the result of changing food.

Basically, in babies and small children who are constipated, a doctor should always be consulted who will get to the bottom of the causes of the indigestion. In addition to this, the following home remedies have proven effective for babies:

  • "Ride a bike" with the baby's legs.
  • Gentle abdominal massages
  • If the baby is on formula, give them extra water between meals
  • If the baby is given complementary food, add plenty of water or unsweetened fruit juice

If none of these help with constipation, you should see the pediatrician. He can prescribe a glycerin suppository for the baby, which will quickly clear the constipation.

More on the subject:Constipation in babies, children, and toddlers

Constipation in Pregnancy

Many pregnant women complain of constipation. This is mainly due to the fact that the pregnancy hormones that loosen the muscles of the intestine. This makes it sluggish and pushes the digested food forward more slowly than usual. In addition, some pregnant women exercise less, which also slows down bowel movements. In addition, the growing uterus and the child press more and more on the intestines, which can lead to digestive problems.

Since the unborn child is supplied by the mother's bloodstream, laxatives should be avoided. These natural measures are free from side effects and will help pregnant women resolve bowel movements:

  • Regular exercise in the fresh air (at least 30 minutes a day)
  • Drink enough: At least two liters of water, herbal tea or diluted juices
  • High fiber diet
  • Eat slowly and chew well
  • Avoiding gasping foods like cabbage, legumes, and onions
  • Avoiding foods with a constipating effect such as chocolate or bananas

More on the subject:Constipation in Pregnancy

Important NOTE: The information in no way replaces professional advice or treatment by trained and recognized doctors. The contents of t-online cannot and must not be used to independently make diagnoses or start treatments.