What does long-term constipation mean for your health?
As any colorectal surgeon in Melbourne knows, there are many ways constipation can affect each individual. Constipation can be characterised by infrequent bowel movements, difficulty passing stool, or a feeling of incomplete bowel movements. It can also be a sign of more serious health conditions, and anyone with long-term constipation should see their colorectal surgeon for a colonoscopy in Melbourne as soon as they can.
What is long-term constipation?
Long-term constipation, also known as chronic constipation, persists for three months or more, and if left untreated, it can continue for years. This condition significantly disrupts an individual’s life and doesn’t respond to dietary or lifestyle changes alone. Hence, seeking medical intervention and appropriate medications becomes essential in managing chronic constipation.
Your colorectal surgeon in Melbourne knows that numerous underlying factors can lead to long-term constipation, including diabetes, hypothyroidism, bowel stricture (narrowing of the colon), bowel diseases like Crohn’s disease and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), immobility, anal and rectum tears, neurological issues such as Parkinson’s disease, and pelvic floor dysfunction. Additionally, certain medications like diuretics, opiates, and anti-diarrheal medicine can contribute to chronic constipation.
When the cause of constipation is unknown, it is referred to as chronic idiopathic constipation.
What does this mean for your health?
Long-term constipation can have significant consequences on your health, potentially leading to various related conditions if not addressed promptly. The best way to do so is to book a colonoscopy in Melbourne with your colorectal surgeon.
- Rectal bleeding: Straining to pass hard stool can cause small tears in the anus, resulting in rectal bleeding. While it may also be associated with haemorrhoids, rectal bleeding typically presents with pain, itching, irritation, and anal swelling.
- Haemorrhoids: Painful swollen veins around the anus, known as haemorrhoids, can develop because of long-term constipation. Individuals experiencing chronic constipation are more prone to developing haemorrhoids.
- Faecal impaction: Prolonged constipation can lead to the accumulation of dried stool in the anus, leading to faecal impaction. This condition makes it extremely difficult to pass stool without medication or medical intervention. Faecal impaction may also cause numbness or a loss of sensation around the anus, rectal prolapse, and frequent anal bleeding.
- Bowel incontinence: Constipation can be linked to bowel incontinence. When faecal impaction occurs, the hardened stool can stretch and weaken the rectum’s muscles, potentially leading to involuntary soiling.
Again, the best way to find out what is causing your long-term constipation is to get a colonoscopy in Melbourne. This way, your colorectal surgeon can provide a correct diagnosis and treatment to support your quality of life and health.
Visit a leading colorectal surgeon in Melbourne
Identifying the underlying cause and providing appropriate treatment can help prevent further complications and improve overall health and body function. Remember, early intervention and treatment from your colorectal surgeon in Melbourne is crucial in managing chronic constipation effectively. If you have concerns about your bowel health, do not hesitate to reach out for a consultation and book your colonoscopy in Melbourne.