real cause of constipation. All causes of constipationConstipation means infrequent and difficult defecation due to presence of hard stool in the rectum.

There are various causes of constipation. But the cause of constipation can be guessed from age of the patient. We will discuss how causes differentiate with age later. Let us discuss the general causes of constipation first.

1. Gastrointestinal causes of constipation

  • Diet is very important. If you have been taking a diet which has poor content of fibers, for a long time  then you will get constipation sooner or later. This type of constipation is treated with the help of increasing the quantity and quality of dietary fibers. Ispaghol husk is most commonly used for this purpose.
  • The second intestinal cause of constipation is Drugs. There are various drugs that cause constipation as their side effect. Some of the drugs that cause constipation are;
    • Opiates, eg, morphine, tramadol (commonly used painkiller in Emergencies, So you should inquire about history of constipation before prescribing this painkiller. If history if constipation is found, then try alternative)
    • Aluminum containing ant acids are another major cause of constipation. It is commonly marketed as Mucaine syrup. Which is a whitish suspension, available as over the counter drug without prescription to relieve the symptoms of heart burn and indigestion. Most of the people don’t know this side effect and keep using this syrup and get constipation, and medicine also don’t work because they don’t eliminate the actual cause i.e, syrup Mucaine.
    • Iron supplements are another cause of constipation. Iron supplements are prescribed to those patients who are anemic and also to pregnant women. So those pregnant women who can’t stop thaking iron pills should ask their doctor, how will they overcome the constipation?.
    • Anticholinergic drugs are not usually used. But there are other commonly used drugs which have anticholinergic effect. For example those drugs which are used to treat flue and depression. anticholinergic drugs decrease the mobility of intestine and cause constipation.
    • Calcium antagonists also cause constipation. Calcium antagonist are usually used in the management of blood pressure, angina, stroke and many others. If you are taking calcium channel blocker then you may get constipation.
  • Colonic carcinoma is another cause of constipation. It is the mechanical obstruction in the colon that cause constipation.
  • Hirschprung’s disease also cause constipation. In this disease a part of colon don’t have nervous connections and is virtually paralyzed.
  • Chron’s disease, anal fissure etc also cause constipation due painful defecation. Due to severe pain during defecation patient ignores the desire of defecation and this further hardens the stool and makes constipation even worse.

2. Non-Gastrointestinal causes of constipation

  • Neurological diseases that cause constipation include; multiple sclerosis, spinal cord diseases, stroke and parkinsonism. 
  • Diabetes mellitus, hypothyroidism, pregnancy and hyperparathyroidism also cause constipation.
  • If you don’t exercise, are lazy and remain bed bound then this is also a major cause of constipation, especially in elderly.

How age is important in determination of cause of constipation.

Age is an important factor when you want to establish or think about the possible cause of constipation. For example, if constipation is present by birth or in neonate then you should think about Hirshprung’s disease or neurological lesion. If constipation is present in teens or twenties then think about dietary causes and drugs. If constipation is present in middle age or elderly then also think about mechanical obstruction (eg., colonic cancer) and lack of exercise along with other causes.

Now by reading the above article you should have some idea of your cause of constipation. If you have more questions you may comment below. Follow us on facebook/twitter/email for future updates.

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