To truly appreciate how awful constipation is, a person needs to experience. However, while we wouldn’t wish the condition even on our enemies, we do see the value in educating people in something that they will likely experience at least once in their life.
So what is constipation? Constipation is a condition of the digestive system where an individual has hard feces that are difficult to expel.
In most cases, this occurs because the colon has absorbed too much water from the food that is in the colon. Sadly, however, having difficulty going to the bathroom isn’t the only problem that arises from constipation.
Diverticulitis: In the elderly, pouches develop in the lining of the bowel called diverticula, due to the constant straining to pass the stool. If stool gets stuck in these pouches, it could give rise to a condition called diverticulitis which could be potentially dangerous if it gets infected and inflamed.
Hemorrhoids: Pile up of excreta puts pressure on the veins of the rectum and anus; these swollen veins are often referred as hemorrhoids or piles. Suffering from this condition can lead to painful defecation, blood in stool, etc.
Anal fissures: When the stool is hard and it puts a lot of pressure on the anus while passing this can lead to some tearing and bleeding. This tearing leads to anal fissure which is painful, to say the least.
Irritable bowel syndrome: Going to the bathroom several times due to IBS and constipation might seem two opposite things. However, IBS is constipation-predominant most of the times.
Infection: There is always a risk of bacterial infection attached to chronic constipation. When stool passes through the colon and rectum there could be wear and tear due to the hard consistency, if waste products get stuck in these wounds, these could lead to internal infections.
We advise purchasing some wet wipes, not unlike the ones you would use for a young child. Trust us, you’ll be thankful later.
Urine incontinence: Colon and bladder are closely related, and not just in proximity. So when the colon is full with excreta, it can put pressure on the bladder due to which one might suffer from incontinence, though this is a rare occurrence.
Bowel cancer: The colon is supposed to hold the feces for some time before exit. However, in a condition like constipation, the volume increases and it stretches the sides of the colon where the wear and tear lead to wounds and the toxic bacteria of the stool could lead to rotting and fermentation that could predispose one to a cancerous growth.