Different Types of Constipation

Published: 29th September 2008
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If you are working on relieving constipation, it is fundamental and important to ascertain what kind of constipation you are having. This helps you to avoid suffering the ill-effects of ending up with the wrong constipation relief.

There are many types of constipation and reference books differ on how to classify them. Generally speaking, we have constipation that occur within a short period of time and constipation that last for a long time.

In the former group, we have psychosomatic constipation. As the name implies, this means a person suddenly becomes constipated due to stress such as when travelling or under tremendous work pressure. When the stress factor is removed, constipation ceases. Acute constipation is abrupt worsening of the constipation a person is suffering which needs urgent medical attention as a serious illness may be the underlying cause.

The latter group is also called chronic constipation. Chronic is a disability that lasts a long time. In this context, it is disability to have smooth bowel movements. Constant constipation is considered chronic and there are basically three types:

Hypotonic constipation or atonic constipation. "Hypotonic" means decrease in abdominal muscle tone. Weak abdominal muscles are not able to push the bowel to move as much as they should . The sufferer is characteristically bloated. This kind of constipation is caused by sedentary lifestyle, insufficient peristalsis, dietary fiber and fluid intake.

Hypertonic constipation, or spastic constipation. While hypotonic constipation involves slow peristalsis, hypertonic on the other hand involves accelerated peristalsis. The most irritating part is, this causes abdominal muscle cramps which translate into pain, but does not propel bowel movement. So the stools stay in the colon to be reabsorbed of its water content thus producing hard stools in the form of small lumps or sticks as thick as pencils. It is said this kind of constipation can develop into irritable bowel syndrome.

Rectal constipation. When a person is too busy or distracted to be aware of nature's call to evacuate, he is training his rectum to be unresponsive. Eventually, the rectum will not send signals to the brain even when it is full. Dried fecal material becomes lodged and difficult to move.

Another way of classifying constipation is according to their causes. For example, a healthy person who has difficulty defecating is said to have functional constipation.

Functional constipation is defined to have no physical, hormonal or other body chemistry cause. It may have a neurological, psychological or psychosomatic cause. It happens due to poor diet and lifestyle.

The opposite of functional constipation is idiopathic constipation of which origin is unknown and does not respond to standard treatment. When this mysterious constipation becomes infrequent and passing of stools difficult, it is then called chronic idiopathic constipation. The sufferer experiences abdominal pain, discomfort and bloating as well.

Chronic idiopathic constipation is one of the most common disorders suffered by Americans, it affects women more often than men and also affects more older patients over the age of 65.

Finally-chronic, severe and acute constipation are graded according to their degree of seriousness. Out of these three, acute constipation is the most dangerous. Severe constipation is less than one bowel movement per week.

So, what kind of constipation do you have?

For the natural constipation relief resource that cares about your bowels, go to http://www.constipationopia.com

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