Another way to determine the type of constipation is through diagnostic tests. This may include an ultrasound or colonoscopy to observe the movement of food through the intestines, or a pelvic exam to evaluate the muscles surrounding the anus and rectum. Constipation is a medical term that can refer to a reduction in the number of bowel movements each week or to pain or difficulty in evacuating stools. Constipation is a condition in which a person has uncomfortable or infrequent stools.
A person is generally considered to be constipated when bowel movements cause small amounts of hard, dry stools to be eliminated, usually less than three times a week. However, normal stool removal may consist of defecating three times a day or three times a week; it depends on the person. These terms recognize that constipation is the primary medical problem and not a symptom of another underlying medical problem. People with slow-moving constipation don't experience normal bowel stimulation, called peristalsis, after eating.
While the relationship between sex hormones and chronic constipation is unclear, a decrease in the level of ovarian and adrenal steroid hormones has been reported in association with constipation. Secondary constipation is constipation that occurs as a result of an underlying health problem or a side effect of medication use. The most common causes of constipation include a change in routine, lack of fiber in the daily diet, lack of fluids, and lack of exercise. What tests a doctor performs will depend on the duration and severity of the constipation, as most people experience constipation at one time or another.
Normal transit constipation is probably the most common form of constipation observed by general practitioners, although this has not been formally studied. Biofeedback is recommended as a treatment for chronic constipation in patients with defecation disorders. If the symptoms of constipation are resistant to drug treatment, patients should be referred for physiological testing, as described in the published Rome algorithm for refractive constipation and difficulty defecating (fig. Prucalopride has recently received EU approval for the treatment of chronic constipation in women in whom laxatives do not provide adequate relief; this is not mentioned in the guidelines.