Causes of constipation

Normal and Therapeutic Nutrition 3(2+1)
Lesson 21:Constipation- causes, complications

Causes of constipation

Constipation occurs when the colon absorbs too much water from the digested residue or if the colon's muscle contractions are slow and sluggish, causing the stool to move through the colon too slowly. As a result, stools can become hard and dry.
  1. Low fiber in the diet
  2. Lack of physical activity (especially in the elderly)
  3. Medications
    • Pain relieving medications ( especially narcotics)
    • Antacids that contain aluminum and calcium
    • Blood pressure medications (calcium channel blockers)
    • Antiparkinson drugs
    • Antispasmodics
    • Antidepressants
    • Iron supplements
    • Diuretics
    • Anticonvulsants
  4. Milk
  5. Irritable bowel syndrome
  6. Changes in life style or routine such as pregnancy, aging, and travel
  7. Abuse of laxatives
  8. Ignoring the urge to have a bowel movement
  9. Dehydration
  10. Specific diseases or conditions, such as stroke (most common)
    • Neurological disorders
      • Multiple sclerosis
      • Parkinson's disease
      • Chronic idiopathic intestinal pseudo obstruction
      • Stroke
      • Spinal cord injuries
    • Metabolic and endocrine conditions
      • Diabetes
      • Uremia
      • Hypocalcaemia
      • Poor glycemic control
      • Hypothyroidism

Problems with the colon and rectum

Intestinal obstruction, scar tissue-also called as adhesions diverticulosis, tumors, colorectal stricture, or cancer can compress, squeeze, or narrow the intestine and rectum and cause constipation (Figure).

  • Problems with intestinal function (chronic idiopathic constipation)

Last modified: Monday, 24 October 2011, 11:32 AM