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Constipation - Acute, Subacute and Chronic Constipation; Bowel Movement, Defecation
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One of the most frequent bowel problems that people experience today is constipation. Why is the Colon Cleansing so important? Check it out.

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Constipation

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DIGESTIVE SYSTEM
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Screening and diagnosis

A diagnosis of constipation generally depends on your medical history and a physical exam. Your doctor will first want to make sure you don't have a blockage in your small intestine or colon (intestinal obstruction), an endocrine condition, such as hypothyroidism, or an electrolyte disturbance, such as excessive calcium in the blood (hypercalcemia). He or she will also want to check your medications in case they may be causing your constipation.

You may undergo these diagnostic procedures:

  • Stool sample. In some cases, your doctor may request a stool sample, to be analyzed for the presence of hidden (occult) blood.

  • Barium enema. In this test, the lining of your bowel is coated with a contrast dye (barium) so that your rectum, colon and sometimes a part of the small intestine can be clearly seen on an X-ray.

  • Proctosigmoidoscopy. In this procedure, your doctor uses a lighted, flexible tube to examine your sigmoid colon and rectum. In many cases your doctor will be able to see your rectum and sigmoid colon more easily with this procedure than with a barium enema.

  • Colonoscopy. This diagnostic procedure allows your doctor to examine the entire colon with a flexible, camera-equipped tube.

Complications

Although constipation can be extremely bothersome, it usually isn't serious. If it persists, and especially if straining results, you may develop complications such as hemorrhoids and cracks or tears in the anus called abrasions or fissures.

Very severe or chronic constipation can sometimes cause a fecal impaction, a mass of hardened stool that you can't eliminate by a normal bowel movement. An impaction can be very dangerous, and you may need to have it manually removed by a nurse or doctor.

If you use laxatives frequently, you may develop lazy bowel syndrome, a condition in which your bowels become dependent on laxatives to function properly. In fact, laxative use can cause a number of problems, including poor absorption of vitamins and other nutrients, excessive loss of water, sodium and potassium, damage to your intestinal tract and worsening constipation.

Constipation > 1 > 2 > 3 > 4

 

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This information is provided for general medical education purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the independent medical judgment of a physician relative to diagnostic and treatment options of a specific patient's medical condition.
In no event will The DrEddyClinic.com be liable for any decision made or action taken in reliance upon the information provided through this web site.

 


 



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Last Modified : 03/14/08 11:02 PM