The colon is one of the most overlooked areas of the human body because it is not exactly one of the most glamorous topics of discussion on a daily basis. The colon however is vitally important to the health of people all across the globe. If the colon is not healthy then a person can suffer from a variety of different problems including but not limited to constipation, colon cancer, and diarrhea. Now, sometimes, constipation and diarrhea are directed correlated with colon cancer. A change in one’s bowel movement is a sign of colon cancer but it could also be the sign of constipation. Constipation can happen to anyone, especially if they are not eating the correct things each day. On the other hand, constipation could be happening as a result of the colon being blocked by a cancerous tumor. If a person cannot rid themselves of constipation after a week or so they should consult their physician to rule out any serious medical condition such as colorectal cancer.
Constipation usually happens when the colon takes in too much water from the food that a person ingests during the day. This happens when the food moves through the gastro-intestinal tract too slowly, and results in feces that are too hard and dry. It may be extremely painful to have a bowel movement when constipated. The most serious of cases, known as obstipation, occurs when the person cannot have a bowel movement and cannot pass gas.
Constipation can be caused by a lack of exercise, the diet the person is eating, medications the person is taking, an illness the person is suffering from, a disorder, hormones or anatomical. Treating constipation includes the use of laxatives, changing exercise habits, and changing diet habits. If constipation is being caused by an obstruction in the bowel, such as a tumor, then other treatments such as surgery could be in order.
A doctor will consider a patient to be constipated if they suffer from two or more of the following items for at least a period of three months :
- More than 25 percent of the time the patient will strain during a bowel movement.
- More than 25 percent of the time the patient will have hard stools.
- More than 25 percent of the time the patient will suffer from an incomplete evacuation of the bowels.
- The patient will have two or fewer bowel movements during a week’s time.
Constipation can be caused by one or more of the following factors :
- Not drinking enough water
- Not eating enough fiber
- A lack of exercise or immobility
- Having too many dairy products in the diet
- Using laxatives too much
- Eating disorders
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Colon cancer
Constipation can sometimes cause the abdominal area of the body to become swollen and filled with extreme pain. Constipation can often cause the patient to vomit regularly. This is a symptom that is not uncommon for some people with severe cases of constipation.