Constipation is a common condition that predominates in women, and is largely due to the current lifestyle: sedentary lifestyle, poor diet of vegetables, fruits and fiber ... But other causes, sometimes related to a specific disease are possible and must be sought by the doctor.Before qualifying a constipation of "functional" (related to food, lifestyle ...), it is necessary to consider possible local organic origins intra or extra-intestinal: an obstacle, a narrowing (tumor of the colon, tumor gynecological ...), or a general metabolic or hormonal (thyroid) cause.
Sometimes a rectal or anal organic cause can be diagnosed through simple clinical examination and digital rectal examination. Constipation may also be due to certain medications (neuroleptics, antacids ...).
In case of sudden constipation, usually painful, sometimes accompanied by fever, the doctor is also of course looking for a possible surgical emergency (acute bowel obstruction, intestinal infection, peritonitis ...) that requires the advice of a surgeon.
Depending on the symptoms, the doctor may prescribe certain complementary examinations: colonoscopy, anoscopy, rectoscopy. Or even medical imaging exams (ultrasound, MRI ...).
Because of constipation, there is a risk of hemorrhoids, that is to say the increase in volume and inflammation of vessels surrounding the sphincter of the anus. They can contribute to the aggravation of constipation by creating by their volume a mechanical obstacle to defecation.
Anal fissures can also appear: they are due to the efforts of defecation, they do not help to relieve constipation.
Faecal impaction is frequent especially in the elderly or in people taking neuroleptics: the stool accumulates inside the rectum, and then have more and more difficult to be evacuated.
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