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