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Constipation – What you need to know

Constipation can be broadly described as a condition of the digestive system where the expulsion of stool becomes difficult because of hardness.
The average prevalence of constipation among adults is around 16% worldwide[1]
There may be multiple reasons for constipation including complications arising in the colon and rectum. However, common symptoms of this condition in most people are:

- Reduced movement in the colon due to excessive use of laxatives.
- An obstruction in the anus (E.g. rectocele or rectal prolapse).
- External conditions such as lack of fluid intake, poor diet, and some medications.
- Endocrine problems like hypothyroidism .
In most cases, constipation subsides in a few days. However, it should be noted that in certain instances, constipation may be a crucial sign of other underlying medical conditions.

Symptoms:

Most common symptoms include:

- Difficulty in passing stools is one of the prime symptoms of constipation
- Two or even fewer bowels in a week
- Pain and cramps in stomach
- Loss of appetite
- Feeling nauseous
- Bloating

Treatment:

Self-Care:
Increasing fiber and water intake, as well as routine exercise may help in the treatment of constipation.

Medications:
Laxatives: Although considered as first-line treatment for constipation, laxatives should be used with caution and only as a last resort.

Some over-the-counter laxatives available in the market:
- Osmotic agents/Saline laxatives (E.g. Milk of Magnesia)
- Stimulants (E.g. Senna glycoside)
- Stool softeners (E.g. Docusate)
- Bulk-forming agents (E.g. Citrucel)
- Lubricants (E.g. Mineral oil)

Specialist:
Consult a top gynecologist near you using the mfine app and we’ll help guide you through the treatment for all your constipation-related problems.

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