What causes chronic constipation: Chronic constipation results in a difficulty to evacuate the feces. The stools are then few, and compact, dry, hard and of small volume. The discharge frequency of feces can vary significantly between people, but the definition of constipation used is less than three bowel movements per week.
We talk about chronic constipation when the transit problem has lasted for several months (at least six months) with more or less visible symptoms.
Statistics on chronic constipation
In Western countries, the number of people suffering from chronic constipation is estimated between 3% and 5% of the adult population.
In North America, according to statistics, 12% to 19% of the population is a victim of chronic constipation, both children and adults.
People at risk for chronic constipation
The female population is particularly affected by chronic constipation problems, and 75% of constipated people (all types of constipation) are women. Hormonal causes partly explain this predisposition of women to constipation problems.
The elderly population is also particularly prone to chronic constipation. The constipation risk increased sharply from 65 years, both in women than in men.
Children also are frequently constipated, with a peak around the age of 4 years. Constipation also affects babies often enough, especially infants who are bottle-fed.
Risk factors for chronic constipation
Regarding chronic constipation, several risk factors may be involved.
Some are usually due to an unhealthy lifestyle and the risk of constipation by these factors may be reduced by performing some preventing constipation in everyday life: an unbalanced diet (particularly low in fiber, too oily or sweet), the lack of drinks, the sedentary lifestyle.
Others, however, are not dependent on a change in lifestyle can also contribute to constipation in the long term: the stress, ignore the need to defecate, the hormonal changes, the disease basis, malformations intestinal physical, taking certain medications,
Causes of chronic constipation
Constipation called “functional” constipation includes all causes of constipation that are not due to serious organic causes and are not related to the taking of medication.
Functional constipation is benign; that is to say, it is not severe and will not put your life in danger. This is the type most frequent constipation and most widespread.
It can be primarily caused by poor stool (too rich in fiber and water), a decrease of digestive motility (caused by physical inactivity and sedentary lifestyle, or a too regular laxative), the stress (especially that related to defecation and is to refrain from going to the toilet), a poor synchronization of the sphincter , etc.
If this unhealthy lifestyle or these psychological factors are recurrent, functional constipation may therefore well be a cause of chronic constipation.
Some drugs may be responsible for the arrival of constipation. The scientific term for this type of constipation caused by taking drugs is ” constipation iatrogenic .” It has been discovered that constipation (more or less severe) resulting from certain drugs was due to their anticholinergic effect.
Such a drug having constipating side effects may be responsible for chronic constipation if they are taken within the framework of a long-term treatment and the side effects are important.
In the case of organic constipation, the body itself (organs) that is responsible for the cause of constipation. Thus, contrary to functional constipation, organic constipation is not due to external factors of the body (bad habits of life, psychological factors, medication), but to purely natural causes.
Natural causes, by their nature, are often responsible for chronic constipation.
This can, e.g., be the reflex constipation pain (presence of hemorrhoids or anal fissures in person with constipation).
Among the causes also responsible for chronic constipation, organ damage can also be made as irritable bowel syndrome (which slows transit and causes constipation), the diverticulitis, The megacolon (too large bowel) and dolichocolon (colon too long), but also more severe diseases inflicting organ damage such as colorectal cancer or bowel obstruction .
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