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


  1. Atonic constipation
  2. Muscle tone of the intestinal wall is reduced so that peristaltic movements are impaired. As a result, food mass cannot move at a normal rate down the tract. Bacteria acts on the stagnated food, causing some of the symptoms of constipation.

    Atonic constipation occurs due to
  3. Spastic constipation
  4. A spasm in the intestines causes food to move in an irregular manner. It is also very painful. The spasm may be caused by irritation of the intestinal mucosa through excessive use of –

    • Alcohol
    • Tea/coffee
    • Spices
    • Bran
    • Laxatives

High stressed and nervous people are affected by this type of constipation. Dietary fibre plays an important role in the prevention of constipation.

Fibre has water absorption capacity which contributes to the bulk forming laxative effect and influences the transit time of the food mass through the digestive tract. Water held by fibre increases the volume of feces and softens the stools, causing the colon muscles to contract and propel the food residue quickly.

Last modified: Monday, 24 October 2011, 11:34 AM