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If you have constipation, you must know it

This article has a best information about constipation and it takes 10 minutes to read. The solution to constipation is in the second half of the article.

What is constipation?

Constipation is a symptom characterized by decreased bowel movement, difficulty in defecation, and dry stool. It is divided into functional constipation and organic constipation.

Organic constipation refers to constipation caused by organic lesions of organs (such as digestive tract diseases, endocrine metabolic diseases, drug and chemical poisoning, nervous system diseases, etc.). For example, in the case of intestinal tumors, constipation will be relieved after the tumor is removed.

Functional constipation refers to the absence of organic causes, structural abnormalities or metabolic disorders. Except for chronic constipation caused by irritable bowel syndrome , the main cause of the disease in most patients is bad living habits and eating habits, or bad emotions, such as eating indigestible food, sitting for a long time, sudden changes in the rhythm of life, etc. It may also be due to too little activity. Symptomatic treatment should be carried out after the cause is identified, which is conducive to the rapid recovery of constipation.

Many people think constipation is just a problem of poor bowel movements. But do you know that the harm caused by constipation should not be underestimated?

1. Sudden death! This is not an exaggeration. Patients with cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension and coronary heart disease need to pay special attention to this. Remember, Lao Ding in “Parents’ Love” died of a heart attack caused by constipation. Because constipation often requires the whole body to defecate, increased abdominal pressure and excessive force will cause increased blood pressure, faster heart rate, and increased myocardial oxygen consumption, thereby inducing insufficient blood supply to the brain, even rupture of cerebral blood vessels, and can also induce angina pectoris and sudden death.

In Toilet

2. Affecting mood + wasting time. You try very hard, but all you can pass is farts… The toilet has become the most torturous place besides the examination room… People outside are waiting to kick the door open and rush in, but people inside still can’t relieve themselves… The most unbearable thing about constipation is the contradiction between the gradually increasing bloating feeling in the abdomen and the inability to relieve themselves.

3. Fecal incontinence. The fecal mass that cannot be discharged for a long time will cause the rectum to expand and lead to megacolon! The result of megacolon is that a larger amount of feces is needed to stimulate the rectal wall to achieve the feeling of defecation, thus forming a vicious cycle that continues to exist… Finally, the anus cannot withstand such a huge pressure and goes on strike, and fecal incontinence begins. Of course, this is a more extreme case.

Hard Stool
Hard Stool

The harm of constipation is not as serious as some websites claim, such as causing cancer or affecting sex life. It is just like a cage that traps people and makes them unable to break free. If left alone, it will become more serious. Some experiences on the Internet often don’t work, which is really despairing. But we also need to know that everyone’s bowel habits are different. Some people have three bowel movements a day, and some people have one bowel movement every three days. Both are within the normal range. Simply having fewer bowel movements does not mean constipation.

Constipated Patient
Constipated Patient

Attention

Pay attention to the key points !!! You will be constipated if any of the following conditions are met:

1. Fewer bowel movements per week

2. The stool is very hard and difficult to pass

3. The stool is usually granular

4. Difficulty defecating without medication or techniques

5. No “empty feeling” when leaving the toilet

There is another way to confirm whether you are constipated. This is to observe the shape of your stool.

Different stool shape
Different stool shape

1: Hard balls (very difficult to pass) Constipation

2: Sausage-shaped, with cracks on the surface, ideal

3: Like a sausage or snake, with a smooth surface, ideal

4: Soft masses with smooth edges (easy to pass) Diarrhea

5: Fluffy, mushy stools with rough edges and diarrhea

6: Watery, no solid pieces (completely liquid)

Next, let’s learn about the composition and movement of stool to better understand the causes of constipation.

The composition of poop

Many people think that poop is primarily made up of what they eat, but there’s actually more to your poop than meets the eye.

Initially, 3/4 of the feces are water, but this water will gradually be absorbed in the large intestine. The longer the feces stays in the intestine, the lower the water content, and the more difficult it is to excrete from the body.

The stool with the best water content is as smooth as a banana or a snake. It can slide through the anus effortlessly and then jump into the toilet with a plop. You can observe that if the stool sinks to the bottom of the water immediately, it means that it still contains nutrients that have not been digested and absorbed. If it floats slowly on the water surface, it means that it contains some small bubbles. These bubbles are produced by bacteria in the intestines. As long as there is no flatulence, it is a good sign of intestinal health.

In addition to water, the solid matter of stool is composed of 3 parts:

One third of them are bacteria, which are retired people who have contributed their whole lives to digestion and will take the last bus to leave the intestines. Another third is indigestible plant fiber, which is higher in vegetables and fruits. Therefore, the more vegetables and fruits you eat, the more feces you excrete during bowel movements. The last third is other mixtures, which are composed of substances that the human body needs to eliminate, such as drug residues, food coloring or cholesterol, etc., and the color of the stool is determined by it.

Constipation
Constipation

Movement of poop

Diarrhea stool moves in a directional manner along the bends of the intestine, moving upward from the lower right side of the abdomen, then moving horizontally to the left side of the abdomen, and finally reaching the anus, like a capital “几”. Of course, it will pause somewhere, rest and then get back on the road. This is the result of intestinal muscle movement~ The muscles in the intestine are smooth muscles. This kind of muscle is neatly arranged and looks like it is drawn with a ruler. Their microstructure is similar to an organic network that can fluctuate smoothly in all directions. Unlike skeletal muscles, smooth muscles are not controlled by our consciousness.

Only the intestinal autonomic nerves can command these muscles. In other words, even if the connection between the intestine and the brain is interrupted, the intestine can still continue its work without being affected. In this smooth muscle pipeline, under the control of the intestinal autonomic nerves, each muscle strives towards the same goal (of course, to transport stool).

Our body also sets up two checkpoints to control the progress of stool, otherwise people can only move anytime and anywhere. These two checkpoints are called sphincters. Yes, you heard it right. These are the so-called anal sphincters. They are divided into the internal sphincter and the external sphincter. These two sphincters must work together to successfully complete actions such as deflation and defecation.

More Info

When the stool reaches the internal sphincter, it allows a “small test unit” to enter the area between the inner and outer sphincters, where a large number of sensor cells gather. They analyze whether it is gas or solid and transmit the information to the brain. The brain will make a judgment-“Is it just gas or solid? Is it the right time to go to the bathroom now?” The brain will make a judgment in a very short time and transmit the signal to the external sphincter.

When the signal is “NO”, the external sphincter will contract tighter than before and transmit this signal to the internal sphincter. The two muscles work at the same time to keep the gas or feces in place. Of course, they will come out sooner or later, but they just need to be patient for the time being. If we suppress our urge to go to the toilet too frequently or for too long, the internal sphincter and the muscles around it will become tired, thereby disconnecting from the external sphincter, and constipation will occur.

Postpartum constipation is also caused by the interruption of the connection between the internal and external sphincters. Childbirth causes the nerve fibers around the intestine to tear, and the internal and external sphincters cannot work together. However, this rupture can be completely restored, and this connection can be reconstructed through muscle training and biofeedback therapy.

Additional Info

Many people’s constipation is actually caused by holding it in for too long, so when you want to “solve” it, just do it and don’t let your sphincter wait too long.

There are differences between men and women when it comes to constipation , and women are more likely to suffer from organic constipation .

Intestinal lesions such as rectal prolapse, rectocele, anorectal stenosis, etc. These intestinal lesions are prone to occur in women, especially older women with a history of childbearing. Sadly, this is determined by the physiological structure of women.

Women are more likely to suffer from constipation caused by internal rectal prolapse due to factors such as the larger pelvic opening and childbirth. Internal rectal prolapse is actually the same problem as rectal prolapse – the rectal mucosa moves downward and overlaps together, blocking the normal discharge of feces like a wall. The main symptoms are difficulty in emptying the rectum, a feeling of incomplete defecation, and a feeling of anal obstruction. The more force is used, the more severe the obstruction.

In addition, the tissue of the anterior wall of the male rectum is denser, but there is only one layer of rectovaginal septum between the female vagina and the anterior wall of the rectum (the yellow circle part). Childbirth, aging, and physical weakness can cause the rectovaginal septum to loosen, making it easy for the anterior wall of the rectum to protrude into the vagina. During defecation, the pressure in the rectal cavity will be directed toward the anterior wall of the rectum and the posterior wall of the vagina instead of toward the anus, making it difficult to excrete feces.

Is your bowel movement correct?

Doctor Dov Schikilov once recruited 28 volunteers to do an experiment on toilet posture. He divided the volunteers into three groups. The first group of volunteers sat on the toilet normally; the second group of volunteers half-squatted on a particularly low toilet; and the third group of volunteers squatted completely. He recorded the time the volunteers spent on the toilet and the difficulty of defecation. The results were shocking. The average defecation time of the volunteers who squatted completely was only 50 seconds, and they felt very comfortable; while the average toilet time of the volunteers who sat on the toilet was 130 seconds, and the feeling after using the toilet was not very satisfactory. According to common sense, sitting on the toilet is easier, so the satisfaction should be higher, right?

The answer lies in the design of the closed mechanism of the intestine. When we sit or stand, there is a muscle in the intestine that tightens in one direction like a lasso, so that the contents of our intestine will not leak out easily. This muscle is our old friend-the sphincter. Feces is like a car on the highway, running all the way, but if you are sitting to use the toilet, this high-speed car will encounter a tightened sphincter, so it has to slam on the brakes and pass slowly. If you squat to use the toilet, the situation is very different.

At this time, the sphincter is in a relaxed state, the intestine is straightened, and the feces can dive freely without hindrance~ Squatting is a natural defecation posture. Humans have been defecating in this way since ancient times, but they have only begun to “enjoy” sitting to use the toilet in the past hundred years. Of course,

Sitting position in toilet
Sitting position in toilet

What to do when astriction?

After confirming that you are constipated, the first thing you need to do is to find out the cause of your constipation.

First, check your eating habits to see if you eat too little or too finely . Ps (people who are losing weight understand the pain). Because you eat too little and the volume of your stool is too small, the intestinal receptors are not stimulated enough (it can be compared to being tickled but not feeling it), so the stool stays in the large intestine for too long and loses water excessively. As mentioned above, this is the reason for the hard stool. Only when the stool is full of the rectum and stimulates the intestinal wall receptors can it send impulses to the low-level defecation center in the lumbar spinal cord to produce a defecation reaction.

In this case, you can eat more foods that cannot be digested and absorbed to increase the volume of stool – dietary fiber. These foods can help stimulate the intestines to strengthen peristalsis. Foods like inulin and konjac flour are good dietary fibers that cannot be digested and absorbed by the stomach and small intestine. They have no calories and can stimulate intestinal peristalsis and promote defecation.

Some infants and young children suffer from constipation because of the disorder of intestinal flora in the body . Infants and young children have not yet established their own balanced intestinal flora system. In this case, taking some probiotics is a good choice. Probiotics can promote intestinal peristalsis, reduce the reproduction of harmful bacteria in the body, and balance intestinal flora. At the same time, probiotics can produce short-chain fatty acids, organic acids, etc., which have the function of regulating intestinal motility. Therefore, supplementing with probiotics can promote large intestine peristalsis and relieve constipation symptoms.

More

Lack of exercise is also one of the causes of constipation. Many patients who have been bedridden for a long time have constipation symptoms. Similarly, if you sit for a long time, you will also suffer from constipation. Regular aerobic exercise, such as walking and jogging, can improve intestinal peristalsis and reduce the time that stool stays in the intestine.

Of course, if you are constipated and you have the urge to defecate, but you try hard for a long time but nothing comes out – this situation is more difficult, because your internal and external sphincters have stopped working, and what we need to do is to reconstruct the connection between the two. First of all, relax your mind, and don’t be anxious or nervous if you can’t defecate. You must know that the internal sphincter cannot be controlled by consciousness, it has its own rules, and blindly exerting force is not only ineffective for defecation, but may also cause cerebral hemorrhage, myocardial infarction, arterial dissection and other diseases. (Excessive force causes increased abdominal pressure and blood pressure; at the same time, the heart rate increases, resulting in increased myocardial oxygen consumption, resulting in severe and persistent acute ischemia and myocardial infarction of the myocardium). You can try biofeedback therapy.

Use instruments to complete the training of specific muscles. It has an electrode probe placed in the anus, connected to the biofeedback therapy instrument. The patient uses the muscles around the anorectum to complete the prescribed actions according to the graphics in the program. After learning and training, the patient finally achieves the ability to control nerve and muscle activity. This is a treatment method use.

Additional

Finally, if the above methods are useless, it may be organic constipation. You need to go for a check-up in time. Important things should be say three times: If the diagnosis result is rectal prolapse, rectocele, anorectal stenosis and other lesions, this is organic constipation. In this case, please see a doctor immediately .

In addition, constipation patients should not take irritating laxatives unless it is absolutely necessary. The greater the irritation, the more the intestinal peristalsis rhythm will be disrupt. The more difficult it will be to adjust to a normal level. Similarly, people with long-term constipation are very dependent on enema. But they will sadly find that enema will become ineffective after long-term use, because these drugs have raised the threshold of intestinal sensory cells too high, making it too difficult to stimulate them. Therefore, the treatment of constipation still requires a two-pronged approach. On the one hand, pay attention to diet and exercise. On the other hand, you must also master the skills of defecation. If you can’t defecate while sitting, try squatting, or put a small stool under your feet.

Finally, I recommend everyone to read this interesting intestinal science book “Gut. The inside story of our body’s most underrated organ”. The author is a female doctor of medicine from Germany. The writing style is very humorous and interesting.

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