Practice diagnosing and treating constipation

2021-02-05 12:00 AM

Cases of persistent constipation that become chronic are usually caused by an underlying cause or by the patient's inappropriate eating and living habits.

Constipation is an abnormal condition of defecation, with dry and hard stools, causing the patient to struggle every time he defecates and always feels uncomfortable and uncomfortable.

Constipation is not determined based on the number of bowel movements more or less, but on the patient's stool excretion. Therefore, it is necessary to clearly distinguish between constipation with those with a small number of bowel movements but still normal and no exertion in defecation. For some people, it is okay to have a bowel movement every 2 days, or even every 3 days, as long as it is regular and the stools are not dry or hard.


Due to inadequate diet. In the composition of food, there is a large amount of fiber that the body cannot absorb. However, this amount of fiber plays a very important role in the elimination of stools from the body, as they make stools large and soft. Fiber is abundant in foods containing raw starch, such as sweet potatoes, brown rice ... Vegetables, fruits ... also provide more fiber. When the daily diet does not provide enough fiber, it is easy to cause constipation.

Due to the abuse of laxatives.

Some intestinal diseases can cause constipation. The reason is that the contraction of the intestinal wall muscles is not normal, leading to the stool stay in the intestine longer and become black, hard, difficult to remove from the anus.

Patients who are dehydrated a lot, or have strokes, Parkinson 's disease ... can also be constipated. This is because these diseases alter, often hamper, the functioning of the intestinal wall muscles.

Some other diseases such as digestive disorders, diabetes, kidney failure ... also cause constipation.

Disease Hirschsprung may cause constipation in infants.

Some medications have side effects that cause constipation.

Sometimes, constipation is a warning sign of bowel cancer, often accompanied by other symptoms such as anorexia, rapid weight loss, blood in the stool, very tired body, weakness and abdominal pain. piercing.

Cases of persistent constipation that become chronic are usually caused by an underlying cause or by the patient's inappropriate eating and living habits.

Constipation that usually appears in the elderly is very rare for an obvious cause to be found.


Distinguishing between constipation that occurs temporarily due to a specific cause and chronic constipation that lasts a long time, is often difficult to find a specific cause.

Pay attention to accompanying symptoms and pay attention to the patient's diet and activities to find out the cause of constipation.

Constipation is undiagnosed when the patient complains of having too few bowel movements (such as 3 times a week), but must determine whether or not the bowel is difficult, whether the stools are dry and hard ...

Hirschsprung disease should be thought of if an infant slowly produces poop and becomes constipated frequently afterwards.


If there are no signs of other health problems, the main treatment of constipation is to instruct the patient to change their diet and lifestyle accordingly, without and without medication. Issues to note are as follows:

Get physically active, exercise in the morning and limit the amount of time you lie down or sit for too long during the day.

Drink plenty of fluids, with different types of drinking water throughout the day, to ensure adequate supply of water needs for the body.

Eat a lot of fruits, vegetables, starchy foods, fiber ... There are a few medications that provide usable fiber such as Metamucil or Fibercon. However, there is no need for these medications if there is a good diet.

Practice the habit of defecating regularly, at a certain time of day, preferably in the morning. This habit can be created with perseverance over and over again.

Set aside a comfortable time for each bowel movement.

Never feel impatient, want to shorten the time, try to give out stools faster ...

Never postpone defecation when you feel the need. Usually this delay is possible, but the amount of stool that stays in the intestine continues to be drained and becomes dry, hard, making it harder to excrete.

The abuse of laxatives, anal suppositories ... often disturbs the contraction of the intestines and contributes to chronic constipation.

Rubbing your abdomen regularly with your hands can help alleviate the discomfort of constipation and, in many cases, help improve bowel movements. Very serious constipation cases that require temporary intervention to relieve symptoms can use:

Drugs that stimulate bowel movements, such as senna2-8 tablets, taken at night. Should not be used often.

Fertilizers, such as ispaghula bran, but usually they are not needed if adequate dietary fiber is supplied in the diet. The most appropriate use cases are for people with haemorrhoids, anal fissures or after surgery to open the colon, ileum ...

Lactulose 15ml is usually taken twice a day to help keep water in the gut.

Stool softeners such as paraffin oil, magnesium hydroxide emulsion 20ml should only be used when absolutely necessary.

Cases with accompanying symptoms that cannot be diagnosed with, or confirmed to have serious illnesses accompanied by constipation, should be referred to hospital treatment. Especially for newborns with suspected Hirschsprung disease (requiring treatment requiring surgery). Absolutely no prolonged use of laxatives or anal suppositories.