Constipation: Warning signs of many dangerous diseases

Constipation is a condition that anyone can suffer from, and affects the quality of life. It can even be dangerous for the patient if not treated properly. So, what is constipation? What are the causes and how to treat them? Let's find out through the article below.

What is constipation?

Constipation is a form of digestive tract disorder, leading to irregular stools, difficult stools accompanied by pain and hardness. Acute constipation can cause intestinal obstruction and may even require surgery. Until now, there have been many different definitions of constipation, but usually in adults, it is not having a bowel movement for more than 3 days; In children, not being able to defecate 3 times a week is considered constipation. In clinical diagnosis, doctors often divide constipation into 2 groups, which are primary constipation and secondary constipation - MSc. Nguyen Van Hau (Center for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy & Surgery - Tam Anh General Hospital).

Constipation is the most common gastrointestinal disease in the world with a rate of 17% of the global population, of which only 12% of people self-identify the disease. Constipation occurs at all ages but is more common in people over 65 years old at a rate of 30-40%. Women are 3 times more likely to have constipation than men. Constipation also commonly occurs in infants, young children and pregnant women.

Dangerous complications of constipation

If constipation is not treated appropriately, it can lead to a number of complications such as:

  • Hemorrhoids are formed, the hemorrhoids prolapse due to having to push a lot, causing the hemorrhoids to get bigger and bigger, even causing blood to appear during defecation.

  • Anal fissure because the stool is hard and the patient needs to push hard to push the stool out
  • Intestinal obstruction, enteritis: due to solid feces stagnating for a long time in the colon and not being eliminated
  • Anal cancer and rectal cancer: Constipation causes stools to become dry and hard, containing many toxins and potentially carcinogenic substances such as deoxycholic acid, lithocholic acid and nitroso complexes (NOCs). If constipation lasts for a long time, the contact time of stool in the rectal mucosa increases, leading to inflammation and physical damage. Over time, cancer forms.
  • Reduced resistance: Due to the impact on digestion, people easily get tired and lose their appetite, leading to reduced resistance.

How to prevent constipation?

In addition to the causes of digestive diseases, constipation mainly comes from a nutritionally imbalanced diet, lack of exercise or excessive stress. Accordingly, in addition to drinking 2 liters of water per day, patients should:

  • Limit eating unhealthy foods such as foods high in fat of animal origin, industrial foods, bottled soft drinks, beer, wine, smoking, green and astringent fruits.
  • You should exercise at least 3 hours/week.
  • Avoid tension, depression, stress.
  • Don't sit on the toilet for too long, and don't strain when defecating
  • You should practice the habit of defecating at the same time every day.
  • Maintain a high-fiber diet that includes plenty of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. 

  • In addition, for children drinking powdered milk, stopping or changing the type of milk they are currently drinking can help improve constipation.

Along with that, people should proactively go to the hospital for health check-ups to help screen and early treat diseases that cause constipation such as hemorrhoids , anal fissures, gastrointestinal blockage due to tumors, and hemorrhoids. idiopathic rectal mass and enlargement; neurological or thyroid diseases...