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Constipation

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Constipation

Constipation is defined as difficult or infrequent passage of feces, hardness of stool or a feeling of incomplete evacuation.

 

It is very common in bed-ridden elderly, although it is becoming more prevalent in the adult working population.

 

The causes of constipation include:

  • Medications
  • General anesthesia
  • Use of oral barium or barium enema
  • Psychological conditions such as depression or OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder)
  • Neurological disorders such as Parkinson's disease, cerebral thrombosis, tumour or spinal cord injury
  • Systemic disorders such as hypothyroidism, debilitating infections, hypercalcemia, uremia or porphyria
  • Local neurogenic disorders such as IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), colonic inertia or megacolon
  • Bowel obstructions such as mechanical obstruction or colonic tumour
  • Local anorectal conditions such as anal fissures

 

The following diagnostic tools or results are used or found to diagnose constipation:

  • DRE (digital rectal examination) during a physical exam
  • X-ray imaging with or without a barium enema
  • Proctosigmoidoscopy
  • Colonoscopy

 

From a Naturopathic standpoint, Dr. Moira Kwok ND will obtain a very thorough medical history in order to put all of your "puzzle pieces" together to form a whole picture of everything that is going on from a health perspective.  From this holistic approach to treatment, she will put together an individualized treatment plan based on a combination of dietary and lifestyle recommendations, supplements, botanicals, acupuncture and/or IV therapy that is based on your specific case.

 

References

  • Beers MH & Berkow R (Editors).  1999.  The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy (17th Ed.).  Merck Research Laboratories: Whitehouse Station, NJ.
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