Various anatomical or functional problems within your digestive tract can be the primary cause of your constipation. However, making lifestyle adjustments with your particular physical or functional limitation for relief of constipation is possible.
Problems with the Colon and Rectum
Conditions that compress, squeeze, or narrow the intestine and rectum can cause constipation, such as:
- colorectal stricture
- intestinal obstruction
- scar tissue (adhesions)
- Hirschsprung’s disease
Problems with Intestinal Function
The two types of constipation are idiopathic constipation and functional constipation.
- Idiopathic, of unknown origin, constipation does not respond to standard treatment.
- Functional constipation means that the bowel is healthy but not working properly, often the result of poor dietary habits and lifestyle.
Colonic inertia, or delayed transit, and pelvic floor dysfunction are three types of functional constipation.
Colonic inertia and delayed transit are caused by a decrease in muscle activity in the colon. These syndromes may affect the entire colon or may be confined to the lower, or sigmoid, colon.
Pelvic floor dysfunction is caused by a weakness of the muscles in the pelvis surrounding the anus and rectum. However, because this group of muscles is voluntarily controlled to some extent, biofeedback training is somewhat successful in retraining the muscles to function normally and improving the ability to have a bowel movement.
Functional constipation that stems from problems in the structure of the anus and rectum is known as anorectal dysfunction, or anismus. These abnormalities result in an inability to relax the rectal and anal muscles that allow stool to exit.
If you are suffering from chronic constipation, you may want to get with your doctor to consider whether it’s caused by these colon, rectum, intestinal function, pelvic floor dysfunction or function constipation conditions.