People often fear the worst about constipation. Constipation is very common and only rarely signifies something serious. Just because the average person has a bowel movement daily doesn’t mean you have to—if normal for you is every 3, 5, or 7 days that is okay so long as it’s not adversely affecting your life. In many cases, people with constipation struggle with it all their lives and are looking to be certain nothing more serious is going on and for a way to treat their symptoms. Even in people with relatively new onset of constipation, there usually is a simple solution. It is certainly reasonable to have your constipation assessed but in the absence of other warning signs for more serious disease, additional testing related to constipation is not always essential.
What are the causes of constipation?
- Most cases of constipation are caused by colonic inertia, which is simply a slow moving colon. Different people are made differently, and the muscles and nerves that are supposed to act in concert to push stool along just work a little slower in people with constipation. In such cases, if we could look at the colon under the microscope it would look normal but if we took an x-ray of how quickly it pushed stool through, it would on average move things along more slowly.
Pelvic floor dysfunction
- If ...