Can Constipation be a Sign of a More Serious Health Problem?

Sometimes, constipation can be a sign of a more serious health issue, such as colorectal cancer and other types of cancer. While occasional constipation is very common, some people may experience chronic constipation that greatly interferes with their daily tasks. Chronic constipation can also cause overexertion and pain when defecating. Most importantly, if overlooked and left untreated, it can lead to serious complications, such as hemorrhoids and anal fissures (tearing of the skin in the anus).It is estimated that around 1 in 7 adults and up to 1 in 3 children in the UK have constipation at any given time.

Left untreated, constipation can lead to unpleasant complications, such as hemorrhoids and rectal prolapse, a condition in which part of the intestine protrudes through the anus due to overexertion. The common approach classifies constipation into two groups based on the causes: primary and secondary constipation. If diagnostic tests show that you have any developmental deformities in the colon or obstructions that cause constipation, surgery may help improve your symptoms. Then, you'll be able to determine the reason for your otherwise unexplained constipation and treat your other medical condition. Long-term constipation can result in fecal retention, which means that hard, dry stools get stuck in the rectum and prevent other stools from passing through. The causes of secondary constipation are mainly related to organic diseases, systemic diseases or medications.

If constipation is caused by a medication, the condition will generally be relieved once you stop taking the medication. Treatment for constipation depends on the cause, how long you've had it, and how severe your symptoms are. Intestinal bleeding, appendicitis, strangulated hernia, and fecal retention are some examples of these medical emergencies, and constipation is a symptom of each of them. Frequent constipation can cause other health problems or stretch the muscles in the lower part of the intestine, worsening the condition. Constantly intervening when they go to the bathroom can make them feel anxious and contribute to constipation.

Constipation occurs during pregnancy because the body produces more progesterone, the female hormone, which acts as a muscle relaxant. If a person has problems with chronic constipation, seeing a family doctor can help ensure that they receive appropriate care and prevent the problem from worsening.

Norma Hoofard
Norma Hoofard

Hey, I'm Norma, and as a mom who has dealt with constipation in my own kids, I know how tough it can be. That's why I'm passionate about sharing my knowledge and tips for improving gut health and finding relief. It's not always an easy topic to discuss, but I believe it's important to bring attention to this issue and help others who may be struggling. Join me on this journey towards a happier, healthier gut - let's beat constipation together!