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Constipation in Adults (cont.)

Constipation and Digestive Problems

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS, Spastic Colon): Because of changes in the bowel function, if a person has this disorder, he or she may have

  • crampy abdominal pain,
  • excessive gas (flatulence),
  • bloating, and
  • constipation sometimes alternating with diarrhea.

Intestinal obstruction: Mechanical compression and interference with the normal functions of the bowel may occur in the following conditions:

  • Scarring of the intestine from inflammation due to diseases such as diverticulitis or Crohn's disease (an inflammatory bowel disease)
  • Inflammatory adhesions and joining together of tissues
  • Intestinal cancers
  • Abdominal hernia, in which loops of the intestine become obstructed
  • Gallstones that have become immovably wedged in the intestine
  • Twisting of the intestine upon itself (volvulus)
  • Foreign bodies (swallowed or introduced into the intestine from the anus)
  • Intussusception refers to "telescoping of the intestine" in which one part of the intestine is drawn into another part (occurs mainly in children.)
  • Postoperative adhesions (internal scarring after previous abdominal surgery) can block the small intestine and cause the inability to pass gas or move the bowels, but relatively rarely blocks the large intestine (colon).

Mechanical problems of the anus and rectum (the bottom part of the colon) that includes the rectum pushing out of the anus (rectal prolapse) or into the vagina

Damage to nerves within the intestine: (Spinal cord tumors, multiple sclerosis, or spinal cord injuries may produce constipation by interfering with the function of the nerves supplying the intestine.)

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/30/2015

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