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How Constipation Can Impact Your Overall Health

Everyone experiences constipation now and then, but constipation that persists for three months or longer is considered chronic. Your body isn’t ridding itself of waste as it should, and the effects on your body can be serious.

Bowel habits differ from person to person, but most people have at least three movements per week. Fewer than this indicates constipation. Constipation is also characterized by small, dry stools that are hard to pass, excessive straining during bowel movements, and a feeling that your rectum is not entirely empty even after using the restroom. 

People with constipation often use enemas, laxatives, or suppositories often. Ironically, this persistent use further worsens their constipation. 

If you have chronic constipation, our team at Digestive Disorders Associates is ready to help. We offer lifestyle recommendations to help you ease your problem, but if your constipation is severe and doesn’t respond to these measures, you may need to undergo specific screening tests to find out the underlying cause. 

Don’t hesitate in getting your chronic constipation evaluated and treated to avoid the following possible health implications.

Hemorrhoids

Constipation means you’re straining to push stool out of your rectum. This can make the veins in the area become inflamed and swollen -- like varicose veins. 

These swollen veins are hemorrhoids. They may be external, sitting under the skin around the anus, or internal, sitting in the lining of your anus or rectum. 

Hemorrhoids range in severity, but are generally itchy and painful. You may have resulting blood in your stool that you may see on the toilet paper after you wipe. 

Blood can get trapped inside a hemorrhoid, causing a super-painful lump. Hemorrhoids can also cause health complications like blood clots and infections. Severe hemorrhoids sometimes require surgical correction.

Anal fissure 

When the tissue around your anus tears due to passing hard stools, it creates an anal fissure and associated pain, bleeding, and itching.

Anal fissures make it harder to go to the bathroom, which only makes constipation worse. If your anal fissures grow in size, you may need medication or surgery to assist in healing. 

Impaction

Stool impaction is as unpleasant as it sounds. The stool that your body can’t pass has the potential to stick together in your intestines, forming hardened masses that block your colon. 

You experience pain and vomiting as a result and may even need to visit the ER to have impaction corrected. 

Rectal prolapse

Straining to pass stools stretches your rectum, the final part of your large intestine. This can make the tissue lose elasticity, so it slips outside of your body. Rectal prolapse is painful and can cause bleeding.

Symptoms of rectal prolapse are a lot like hemorrhoids, so it’s important to come to our office if you have swelling in the anal region. We can properly diagnose you and give you treatment that’s appropriate for your condition.

If you’re suffering from constipation or other digestive ailments, don’t hesitate to call Digestive Disorders Associates. We’re here to help people living in and around Annapolis, Maryland, preserve their digestive health. Call today for an appointment or send us a message using this website.

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