Constipation is not a serious condition on its own. However, if one neglects the condition, it could lead to prolonged and chronic constipation. This may result in other related health conditions such as colon ulcers or hemorrhoids. In some cases, constipation may even be signaling the onset of colon cancer.
Constipation refers to:
Generally, constipation is a result of one or a number of the following issues:
Side effects of drugs such as contraceptive drugs, antacids and blood pressure medication may also cause constipation. Additionally, various underlying health disorders such as diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and strokes also have the potential to affect bowel movements.
If you experience difficulties passing stools or suffer from regular bouts of constipation, consult a doctor. It is especially important to do so in the event that you see noticeable change in the stool. Such a change may come in the form of blood being passed in the stools or a transformation in the stools’ appearance, color and size.
Other potential symptoms of colon cancer:
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To prevent constipation, exercise regularly, get sufficient rest, drink 8-10 glasses of water per day and abstain from alcohol and smoking. For those who already suffer from constipation, nutritionists advise consuming at least 30 grams of fiber each day. Furthermore, examine your stools regularly for any changes. For example, when the stools become softer and float in the basin, it is a sign of getting enough fiber. Contrarily, if the stools are hard and lumpy you may need to increase your intake of fruits and vegetables. Besides that, train yourself to pass stools on a daily basis. Do not hold it in when a bowel movement is imminent.
Making changes to the way you eat and using a suitable technique when visiting the bathroom helps alleviate chronic constipation. Nevertheless, there are many more risk factors besides this condition which increase a person’s colon cancer risk.
The American Cancer Society recommends people should begin screening for colon cancer from the age of 45 years. Colon cancer can be prevented, diagnosed and treated. The technique from Japan offers a 60% detection rate, over 2x higher than the international standard. Click to read more
Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University , 2004