Electrolyte imbalance can have a significant impact on the body, including the onset of chronic constipation. The modulation of ion channels and exchangers in epithelial cells can promote intestinal secretion, thus improving gastrointestinal transit and aiding in faecal excretion. This is also the mechanism through which some drugs exert their laxative effect. Under normal physiological conditions, there are many channels and ion exchangers in the intestinal epithelium, which play an important role in maintaining the balance of intestinal absorption and secretion.
The main mechanisms associated with ion flows are the absorption of Na+ coupled to nutrients, the electroneutral absorption of Na+, the electrogenic absorption of Na+ and the secretion of Cl−. An imbalance or dysfunction in any of these components can cause abnormal bowel function, leading to constipation. The onset of constipation is intrinsically related to intestinal motility disorders, as well as to the transport of fluids and electrolytes, which affect the nervous system, endocrine signaling, the gastrointestinal microbiota, ion channels and aquaporins. To better understand this process, it is important to consider the regulatory mechanism of intestinal motility and fluid and electrolyte transport in chronic constipation.
This knowledge is essential for providing a theoretical basis for using safe and effective drugs. A more prudent solution to resolving chronic constipation and avoiding laxative abuse (and the risks that accompany it, such as electrolyte imbalance) is to eat a diet rich in fiber. Comparison of a low-dose polyethylene glycol electrolyte solution with lactulose for the treatment of chronic constipation has also been studied. The modification of the intestinal luminal environment through intestinal motility, fluids and electrolytes will affect transit and secretion in the intestine, which will benefit patients with chronic constipation.
In conclusion, understanding the role of intestinal motility and fluid and electrolyte transport in chronic constipation is essential for providing a theoretical basis for using safe and effective drugs. A diet rich in fiber is a more prudent solution to resolving chronic constipation than laxative abuse.