Causes of constipation in children, adults, pregnant, elderly

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Constipation is called the absence of a stool without stimulation longer than three.
days. New criteria for constipation provide for independent
defecation at least 3 times a week. These conditions are found as
functional disorders and in the program of many
gastrointestinal diseases. Most often constipated
people with nutritional deficiencies, insufficient motor
bowel activity, the elderly and children.


In addition to the lack of stool constipation can manifest itself in a number

  • Feeling of pain in the abdomen and perineum
    stagnation of feces.
  • Pain along the descending part of the colon (in the left half
    abdomen), sigmoid colon (left ileal region) and direct
    the intestines (in the pelvis and perineum) are associated with the overstretching of some
    intestinal tract and spasm of others.
  • Bloating is the result of gas accumulation. Bloating and constipation – the most
    frequent satellites.
  • Reflex nausea, lack of appetite, and rarely vomiting.
  • Reinforced straining is a necessary measure called for by
    elevated abdominal pressure cause defecation.
  • Too tight, sheep-shaped stools, dry stools –
    options for feces with constipation. Usually, the stool is less constipated.
    than normal.
  • Withмесь слизи в кале после bowel movements связана с
    irritation of the intestinal wall and its inflammation due to the reverse
    absorption of toxins into the intestinal wall (see the causes of mucus in
  • The blood on the surface of feces after stool – a consequence of cracks
    rectum and anal region, traumatized by dense fecal
    masses (see blood in feces, feces black).
  • Чувство неполного bowel movements – еще одно неприятное
    manifestation of constipation.

What is constipation?

Constipation are divided into:

  • primary on the background of malformations or inflammatory changes
    in the intestines
  • secondary, accompanying pathologists of other organs
  • idiopathic developing without any visible

From the nature of the obstacles in the path of fecal masses distinguish

  • mechanical (against the background of a tumor, intestinal adhesions, fecal
  • diskinetic (in violation of regular contractile work
    muscle intestines)
  • alimentary (against the background of errors in diet or intake

Causes of constipation in relatively healthy adults

Constipation can occur not only in a patient, but also in a healthy
person With отсутствии патологических изменений в
gastrointestinal tract most common causes for constipation
becoming the wrong way of life. Then constipation is called
functional and its causes can be simply eliminated. Such
causes are called nutritional and include:

  • starvation
  • unbalanced diets with restriction of plant fiber,
    monodiets, rigid food with a predominance of fat and
  • insufficient use of liquids, dehydration at high
    temperatures and fluid loss from sweat, taking diuretic
  • sedentary or recumbent lifestyle
  • прием drugs железа, антидепрессантов, антацидов,
    anticholinergics, antibiotics, anticonvulsants, antidiarrheals
    drugs, analgesics, long-term use of chelators (Polysorb,
    filter, smect), etc.

Pathological constipation in adults and children

Stool delays can occur with a large number of diseases.
Gastrointestinal tract, fermentopathies, pathologies of the liver and biliary tract.

Diseases of the esophagus and stomach

  • Esophagitis, strictures and esophageal tumors lead to restriction
    food intake and forced starvation.
  • Gastritis, peptic ulcer disease increase the release of hydrochloric acid and
    pepsin, which provoke stool delays. Stomach tumors
    aggravate the breakdown of food and discourage appetite. Cicatricial deformities
    output and duodenal ulcer also make it difficult to evacuate
    food masses in the intestines.

Intestinal pathologies

  • Dysbacteriosis or bacterial contamination of the small intestine and
    increased microbial growth in the colon often lead to constipation due to
    reduce the number of enzymes involved in the fermentation of food and replace
    fermentation processes rot.
  • Inflammatory changes in the intestinal mucosa impede the intestinal
    motility, make bowel contractions irregular and provoke
    stagnation of feces. Например, spastic колит, проктосигмоидит,
    Crohn’s disease.
  • Hypomotor intestinal dyskinesia develops with disorders
    innervation of the intestinal wall or its discoordination.
  • Intestinal tumors create a mechanical obstruction.
    fecal masses. With этом, чем ниже расположено новообразование в
    intestine, the harder and longer constipation. In addition to the tumor
    mechanical constipation can cause adhesions (see inflammation
    appendages), fecal stones or invagination of the intestine.
  • Malformations: Hirschsprung’s disease (lack of nerve
    plexuses in the intestinal wall) causes constipation throughout
    of life. Often, self-emptying of the intestines
    is impossible. Also megacolon, dolichosigma, diverticula – congenital
    causes of constipation.
  • After surgery on the abdominal cavity and intestines
    postoperative atony of intestines develops.
  • Hemorrhoids gives a pronounced pain syndrome, inflammation or
    venous thrombosis of the rectum, leading to problems with emptying
  • Anal stenosis, protrusions of the rectum create conditions for
    delays feces in the rectum and do not allow it completely
  • Diseases of the liver and diseases of the biliary tract. Known
    that bile acids have a pronounced laxative effect. With
    all states when their production or entering the intestines
    limited or difficult, there are problems with the chair.
  • Acute hepatitis on the background of inflammation disrupt the exchange of bilirubin and
    bile acids. The result can be not only discoloration.
    feces, but also constipation.
  • Biliary cirrhosis gives liver cell death and
    restoration of the structure of the liver with deformity of the lobules and formation
    nodes that squeeze intrahepatic bile ducts.
  • Stone obstruction (with cholelithiasis) or a tumor on
    any level of the biliary tract (including the gallbladder and exit to
    Duodenum) can cause bile stasis and constipation.
  • Hypomotor dyskinesia of the biliary tract, atonic gall
    пузырь также ухудшают пассаж bile acids.
  • Postcholecystectomy syndrome, when the gallbladder is removed by
    about gallstones or tumors, does not allow bile to be deposited in normal
    volumes and do the right portions in the duodenum.

Other diseases

  • Pancreatic diseases – enzyme deficiency
    pancreas on the background of pancreatic necrosis, destructive
    pancreatitis or long-term current chronic pancreatitis also
    causes stool delays.
  • Neurological diseases – for example, strokes, hernias
    intervertebral discs of the lumbar spine,
    radiculoneuritis, Parkinson’s disease can lead to constipation. Injuries
    spinal cord injuries from the cervical to
    lumbar make self defecation
  • Endocrine disorders – diabetes, obesity,
    hypothyroidism cause secondary constipation.

Causes of constipation in a woman

In addition to the fact that women are relevant main above
listed causes of constipation, ladies suffer from constipation
dishormonal genesis.

  • So, constipation can be part of the premenstrual program.
    syndrome when the level of progestins and prostaglandins rises sharply in
  • Similarly, pregnant women suffer from problems.
    stretched uterus, displacing the intestines from the usual positions and
    putting additional pressure on him.
  • After cesarean section, constipation is also a frequent occurrence due to
    intestinal atony due to insufficient contraction of the uterus. With
    impaired uterine contractility in natural childbirth and
    her atony in the postpartum period (bleeding, inflammatory
    diseases, metroendometritis, after manual inspection of the cavity
    uterus) there are also delayed stools.
  • Most often non-pregnant women with labile nervous
    system suffer from irritable bowel syndrome with constipation,
    when stool retention becomes chronic and does not respond well
    conventional treatment of laxatives.
  • Inflammatory diseased female genital and cystitis may
    accompanied by secondary constipation.

The appearance of constipation in the elderly

With age, with the extinction of the activity of many hormonal
influences in the body, reducing the secretion of gastric and intestinal
juices, fermentopathies, people increase the frequency of constipation. After 65
every fourth inhabitant of the planet begins to suffer from constipation. With
This problem is less prone to defecation:

  • maintaining an active lifestyle
  • eating rough healthy food with lots of vegetables and
    fruits (see diet with hemorrhoids and cracks).

The problems of dental prosthetics at the same time play an important role.
Those older people who have teeth preserved or held
appropriate orthodontic correction of the dentition
more fully and have problems with the chair less often their toothless
peers forced to prefer pureed and soft.

The same is with motor abilities. People,
forced to lie down for a long time and walk little (after a stroke, on
background of deforming osteoarthrosis) often can not do without
laxative 1-2 times a week.

Chronic constipation

Constipation is recognized as chronic if it exists (continuously or
interrupted) for 12 weeks over the past six months. With этом
Must appear at least two of the above

  • chair 3 or less once a week
  • more than a quarter of bowel movements are accompanied by lumpy or
    hard stool
  • excessive straining occurs at a quarter of bowel movements
  • one quarter of bowel movements are accompanied by a feeling of incomplete
    bowel movements
  • manual feces evacuation is required.

Depending on which disorders of motor activity
intestines dominate, emit:

  • spastic
  • hyperkinetic
  • hypokinetic
  • atonic
  • combined constipation.

Chronic constipation часто осложняются рядом неприятных

  • anal spasm
  • anal and rectal cracked
  • hemorrhoids
  • formation of coprolites (fecal stones).

Such a long-existing constipation creates conditions for
inflammation of the intestine and restructuring its mucous membrane, which can become
cause of tumor growth.

Psychological causes of constipation

When organic or functional disorders with digestion
No, but constipation is still present, it is worth thinking about
psychological prerequisites for their occurrence.

Irritable bowel syndrome – a complex of disorders in
emotional stress, chronic stress, or disturbance
adaptation mechanisms of the body that can lead to
difficulties with stool (see sedatives for adults).
One type of irritable bowel syndrome is
variant with constipation.

Disorders in the autonomic and central nervous system lead
difficulties in transmitting nerve impulses to the muscular wall
intestine. A spasm and, as a consequence, the impossibility
full defecation. The onset of the syndrome can even provoke
such banal factors as the lack of comfortable conditions for
going to the toilet, the need for a long time to endure the urge to defecate,
getting in the habit.

That constipation, then diarrhea

A variety of digestive problems cause instability.
stools when constipation and diarrhea alternate: after several days
constipation appears frequent abundant stools. This is typical for:

  • chronic pancreatitis
  • intestinal dysbiosis
  • lactase deficiency
  • одного из вариантов синдрома раздраженного intestine.

Frequent constipation in children: causes

Until a certain age, children commit an act of defecation at that
the moment when the rectal ampoule is full and automatically
the locking muscle relaxes. In children 2 years with the right
education already fully formed conditioned reflex hike to
pot. Unfortunately, the passion for comfortable diapers has made its five
cents in various breakdowns forming this behavioral

Children who did not get accustomed to the pot in time, later
can consciously avoid it. With попытке насильного
planting them formed a psychological unit that can
make babies hold stool. It leads to constipation.
psychological origin, 3 years is a milestone after which
psychological problems with defecation should be treated by a neurologist or

Of the other simple causes of frequent constipation in children, the role of those
same factors as adults. However, children can also have
dangerous situations where stool delay may indicate
severe pathology.

Constipation in newborns

In newborns, constipation must be distinguished from anal atresia.
holes when there is a defect in the intestinal tube and feces simply
nowhere to depart. In the first day of the newly born baby
should poop. Lack of meconium requires additional inspection.
pediatrician or neonatologist. Another congenital defect leading to
lack of stool, is the stenosis of the output section of the stomach, when
food does not enter the intestines. Such malformations will require
hrturgicheskoy correction in the first year of life of the baby.

Constipation in infants

Constipation in infants is most likely with: Causes of constipation in children, adults, pregnant, elderly

  • dysbacteriosis
  • underwatering artifacts feeding on mixtures
  • too rich breast milk
  • in the months when the baby is given complementary food (especially cereals), see
    how to introduce lure correctly
  • violations of the diet nursing mom.

In addition, children suffer from constipation in the background:

  • high temperature
  • dehydration
  • rare food or fasting
  • passions wiped food in children older than a year
  • against the background of an overdose of vitamin D or blooming rickets.

Infants may also develop intestinal malformations.
(Hirschsprung disease, megacolo, intestinal diverticulosis). Enthusiasm
Diacarbom in infants for intracranial hypertension
(increased intracranial pressure) can also lead to
constipation. In any case, the development of constipation in the baby should be
show the pediatrician (see also the causes of frequent regurgitation).

Constipation and vomiting

The most formidable condition in which constipation in combination with
vomiting and anxiety of the baby – a signal for immediate response
– this is an invagination of the intestines, causing obstruction of the intestines
requiring surgical care. If a child has vomiting a fountain, but
instead of a normal stool – lumps of crimson mucus, immediately call

Thus, constipation, the causes of which are very diverse,
require mandatory and thorough examination of the patient. Exactly
depends on the accuracy of identifying the perpetrators of a long stool delay
success of its timely correction and minimization of risks
possible complications.

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