Medbroadcast  Powered by MediResource
 Search

Go
 Browse alphabetically
ABCDEFGHIJKLMN
OPQRSTUVWXYZ
HEALTH TOPICS
Family & Child Health
Men's Health
Women's Health
Seniors' Health
Addiction
Allergy
Ankylosing Spondylitis
Arthritis (Rheumatoid)
Asthma
Atrial Fibrillation
Baby Health
Back Health
Bedwetting
Bladder (Overactive)
Brain Health
Cancer
Childhood Vaccinations
Cholesterol
Crohn's & Colitis
Cold and Flu
COPD NEW!
Cosmetic Procedures
Depression NEW!
Diabetes
Digestive Health
Ear Health
Eating Disorders
Eye Health
Flu (Seasonal)
Fertility
Fitness
Healthy Skin
Heart
High Blood Pressure
HPV
Hyperhidrosis
Incontinence
Infection
Kidney Health
Low Testosterone NEW!
Lung Health
Medications and your Health
Menopause
Mental Health
Multiple Sclerosis NEW!
Natural and Complementary Therapy
Nutrition
Obesity
Oral Care
Osteoarthritis of the Knee NEW!
Pain
Pregnancy
Psoriasis
Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA)
Seasonal Health
Sexual Health
Sleep Health
Stroke Risk Reduction
Smoking
Weight Management
Workplace Health
Yeast Infection
All health channels

STAY CONNECTED
RESOURCES
Ask an Expert
Clinical Trials
Find a Specialist
Health features
News
Tools


Condition Info Drug Info Tests and Procedures Natural Products Ask an Expert Support Groups Clinical Trials
Home Bookmark Page Send to a Friend Sante Chez Nous Subscribe
Men's Health > Health Features > Constipation > Can't go?
Men
Overview
Your body
Your mind
Lifestyle
Your sex life
Research news
Archived webcast
Related channels
Stay up-to-date with the latest information on men's health, nutrition, fitness, and illness. We have the tips and strategies you need to live a happy and balanced lifestyle.
Men's Health resources
Health features
Health tools
Natural products
Related conditions
Support groups
Discussion forums
Quiz yourself

Constipation

Can't go?

Can't go?

Are you experiencing bowel movements that are hard and dry, less frequent than usual, and difficult or painful to pass? If you answered "yes" to any of these, you may be experiencing constipation.

Occasional constipation affects almost everyone, especially adults, and females in particular. About 25% of men and 35% of women over the age of 65 experience constipation. Pregnancy, childbirth, and surgery can also contribute to constipation.

On the other hand, not everything that seems like constipation is. You may think you're constipated if you don't have a bowel movement every day, or if your stool is firm. But these by themselves don't necessarily equal constipation. "Normal," in terms of bowel movement frequency, depends on your age, physiology, diet, social and cultural influences, and other individual factors. There is no right or wrong number of bowel movements that you should have per day or per week. For example, while the normal frequency of bowel movements in Western society may range from 1 to 3 per day to 1 to 3 per week, in countries where a high-fibre diet predominates, normal bowel movements may occur as often as several times a day.

How does constipation happen? Water is absorbed from the food you eat as it moves through the colon (large intestine). What's left is a waste product, which doctors refer to as stool. As the muscles in the colon contract, the stool is pushed down towards the rectum. But when the muscles of the colon are sluggish, the colon absorbs too much water, and the stool becomes hard and dry, which makes it difficult to pass. This results in painful and difficult bowel movements.

What commonly causes constipation? Constipation can be caused by:

  • a low-fibre diet
  • not drinking enough fluids
  • lack of exercise
  • ignoring the urge to have a bowel movement
  • a change in routine, such as travel
  • a life change, such as pregnancy
  • older age
  • chronic illness
  • recovering from surgery
  • taking certain medications.

There are several kinds of medications that can cause constipation. For example, 95% of people who take medications such as pain medications (narcotics or opioids) to control pain, either after surgery or for other reasons, experience constipation. Other constipation-causing medications include:

  • antacids that contain aluminum
  • antispasmodic drugs
  • antidepressant drugs
  • tranquilizers
  • iron supplements
  • anticonvulsants for epilepsy
  • antiparkinsonism drugs
  • calcium channel blockers

However, if you have tried different treatments and lifestyle modifications unsuccessfully, the constipation has not gone away, and it's been going on for a period of 12 months or more, you may be suffering from chronic constipation. Also known as idiopathic, or "of unknown origin," chronic constipation may be associated with inadequate fluid and fibre intake, rectal disease such as hemorrhoids or fissures, irritable bowel disease, intestinal problems such as problems with nerves and muscles in the colon, or hormonal control. Seniors are particularly prone to chronic constipation because of age-related decreases in bowel function, diets low in fibre, lack of physical activity, and use of medications that promote constipation.



Constipation


Can't go?

Getting things moving again

What's a kid to do?

Is shift work affecting more than your sleep schedule?

An ounce of prevention...

Useful tips and resources for constipation


GoGO




Advertisement


Did you find what you were looking for on our website? Please let us know.





Hot Topics - Bedwetting, Depression, Flu (Seasonal), Healthy Skin, Incontinence, Multiple Sclerosis, Psoriasis, Stroke Risk Reduction

Condition and disease information is written and reviewed by the MedBroadcast Clinical Team.


The contents of this site are for informational purposes only and are meant to be discussed with your physician or other qualified health care professional before being acted on. Never disregard any advice given to you by your doctor or other qualified health care professional. Always seek the advice of a physician or other licensed health care professional regarding any questions you have about your medical condition(s) and treatment(s). This site is not a substitute for medical advice.
© 1996 - 2014 MediResource Inc. - MediResource reaches millions of Canadians each year.