Editor's note: The incidence of chronic constipation in China is about 3%~17.6%. Constipation is like a traffic jam, which makes people both painful and anxious. Many people even rush into blind alleys. In this issue, the "Life Times" invited two experts from the China-Japan Friendship Hospital to guide people who are troubled by this disease to correctly "treat" and get out of the predicament as soon as possible.
Misunderstanding 1 do not treat constipation as a disease
Case: Ms. Liu, a 30-year-old white-collar worker, has irregular bowel movements since working. Sometimes it is only once every four or five days, and the bowel movement is painful. But apart from the occasional acne on her face, she didn't think she was unhealthy. So Ms. Liu didn't pay much attention to constipation. She just bought some laxative health products and ate some when she thought of it.
Analysis: It is not uncommon for people like Ms. Liu who do not pay attention to constipation in clinical practice. Many people think that constipation is not a "disease", and instead of going to the hospital for regular treatment, they use various laxatives, lubricants, and folk earthwork to "emergency", or even force it out with their hands. Although this can temporarily relieve the symptoms, it lays down health risks.
In fact, the intestine is like the "sewer" of the human body, which is mainly responsible for the vitality of the internal organs. Once the blockage occurs, the stool stays in the intestines for a long time, which may cause acute or chronic constipation. At this time, the metabolic waste and toxins in the body will be absorbed again, causing malaise, skin acne, abdominal distension and abdominal pain. The toxins stimulate the intestinal wall and may also lead to an increase in the incidence of tumors. Therefore, if you feel that you have a significant decrease in the frequency of bowel movements, only once every two or three days or longer, the stools are obviously dry, hard, and difficult to defecate, you must pay enough attention.
The survey shows that the incidence of constipation in China is about 9% to 13%, and that of chronic constipation is 3% to 17.6%. Among them, the prevalence of women is about twice that of men. Some causes of chronic constipation are very dangerous, such as anal injury, intestinal obstruction, intestinal impaction or ulcer, intestinal malignancy, etc. It is best to go to the specialist clinic in time to avoid delay in diagnosis and treatment of the disease. ▲
Misunderstanding 2 defecation every day is fine
Case: Mr. Xiao is a salesperson with a lot of work pressure and a tight pace. He told the doctor that although he would have a bowel movement once a day, he felt very difficult to defecate every time. The stool volume was small, dry and hard, and sometimes hemorrhage with too much force. Is this condition constipation?
Analysis: Most people generally defecate once a day. In constipation, they usually defecate less than 3 times a week. In severe cases, they only defecate once in 2 to 4 weeks. But the number of bowel movements is not the only criterion. According to international standards, there are 6 diagnoses of constipation, including the sensation of laborious bowel movement, dry ball-like uncleanness, anorectal blockage, the need for manual assistance, the number of bowel movements per week, etc., which need to be considered for diagnosis. Among them, "there is dry ball feces or hard feces" is an important indicator, if in a week or a month, 25% of the defecation is in this state, it can be defined as constipation.
Most patients with constipation complain of difficulty in defecation, decreased defecation frequency, or incomplete defecation. Like Mr. Xiao, although he has a bowel movement once a day, he has a small amount of stool, is dry and shaped like sheep dung. It can also be diagnosed as constipation, and it is best to treat it in a targeted manner. ▲
Misunderstanding 3 only replenish fiber but not water
Case: Ms. Liu has always been troubled by constipation. Hearing people say that supplementing more fiber can be a laxative, she bought a lot of high-fiber foods such as celery to clear her intestines. But the doctor told Ms. Liu that just relying on high-fiber foods and not drinking enough water would not solve the constipation.
Analysis: Adequate water is very important for the smoothness of the intestine. If there is more water in the intestine, it is not easy to cause dry stool. Therefore, it is necessary to know that drinking water is the first priority to solve the problem of constipation. If the water is insufficient, no matter what method is used, it will get twice the result with half the effort. If you do not pay attention to drinking plenty of water while supplementing high-fiber foods, it may even be counterproductive and cause more serious constipation. What needs to be reminded is that you should not wait until you are thirsty to drink a lot of water at one time, but drink small sips regularly and control the amount of water you drink.
In addition, to relieve constipation, it is necessary to improve living habits. You can eat more high-fiber fruits, such as apricots, plums, and bananas that can promote gastrointestinal motility. For those who have less than 3 bowel movements per week, drained ball-like stools, abdominal distension but lack of bowel movements and other symptoms, it is recommended to seek medical treatment. Finally, relax the body and mind, the more tension the more serious the symptoms. ▲
Misunderstanding 4 constipation only treats the gastrointestinal tract
Case: 60-year-old Uncle Wang has been fighting constipation for more than ten years. In the past two months, his blood pressure has suddenly increased a lot. The doctor told Uncle Wang that his high blood pressure may be related to constipation, but it is not enough to treat constipation and may even induce danger.
Analysis: Constipation is a very common clinical symptom, which can be caused by many reasons.Only caused by the decline of gastrointestinal motility, the treatment focuses on adjusting the gastrointestinal tract. In many cases, constipation cannot be treated with the right remedy, but the original cause must be found. For example, 1. Drug-induced constipation. It can appear after taking analgesics, aluminum antacid preparations, antidepressants, and antiepileptic drugs. 2. Nervous system damage. For example, spinal cord injury caused by trauma or tumor compression can damage the nerves that innervate the intestines, and then cause constipation. 3. Anorectal disease. Hemorrhoids, anal fissures and other diseases, due to severe pain in the anal area, can cause anal sphincter spasm, delay defecation, and constipation. 4. Pregnancy. The large amount of progesterone secreted during pregnancy can relax the smooth muscle of the uterus and weaken the peristalsis of the large intestine. 5. Outlet obstruction and constipation. This refers to problems in the lower part of the rectum and anus that cause poor bowel movements. Such as pelvic achalasia, protrusion of the rectum, intussusception of the rectal mucosa, etc.
In addition, the pain and harm caused by constipation is far more than the inability to pass stool, and may cause a series of health problems over time. Especially for people suffering from cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases, long-term hard defecation can easily cause accidents. ▲
Misunderstanding 5 Detox is to help defecation
Case: Ms. Zhang, who is deeply troubled by constipation, recently saw some advertisements, saying that detoxification health care products not only detoxify, beautify, but also lax and lose weight, it is really "multiple use". Is the effect of detoxification really that amazing? The doubtful Ms. Zhang was very confused.
Analysis: The so-called "defecation is detoxification" in some advertisements is actually wrong. According to traditional Chinese medicine, "poisons" generally have internal and external distinctions. Endotoxicity refers to metabolites, such as urine and sputum, and external toxicity refers to various factors that can damage health, such as bacteria and viruses. For healthy people, internal toxins can be excreted by themselves without special intervention. Therefore, detoxification and defecation are not causally related. Only the “experience” of traditional Chinese medicine such as gastrointestinal fire, gum swelling and pain, oral ulcers, and facial acne can be relieved by diarrhea.
When treating constipation, on the one hand, it is necessary to choose reasonable drugs, and try to minimize the use of drugs or health products containing rhubarb, senna, cassia, aloe and other ingredients. Even if you want to use it, it is best to control the use time within two weeks. On the other hand, strengthening physical exercise, taking a regular bath to relax, and eating more fresh fruits and vegetables are all beneficial to alleviating constipation. For example, cherries, dark purple grapes, rapeseed, etc. help to remove waste from the body, such as liver, intestines, stomach, and kidneys, smooth the intestines, and prevent skin roughness and pigmentation. ▲
Misunderstanding 6 laxative as a panacea
Case: For Ms. Chen, the water boiled with senna leaves is simply a necessity. As long as the stool can't be passed out, she drinks a cup to make the intestines "relaxed". A friend reminded her that laxatives will hurt the body and the intestines will turn black after eating too much.
Analysis: For people with frequent constipation, laxatives can undoubtedly solve the urgent needs. However, constipation is a chronic disease, just like hypertension and diabetes, we must be mentally prepared to fight a "protracted war" and "multi-arms combat." Don't imagine that a specific medicine can solve the problem with one operation. Some patients find laxatives convenient and enjoyable, and treat them as "a panacea", which is very dangerous. Many laxatives contain anthraquinone ingredients. Excessive use can cause nerve damage in the intestinal wall, paralysis of intestinal function, and may also cause colonic melanosis, which is what the common people call "black intestines", and even cause serious consequences such as menstrual disorders and miscarriage.
To prevent constipation, you should develop good bowel habits, go to the toilet regularly, and squat for 10-15 minutes even if you don't have the intention to defecate, and mobilize the intestinal regular exercise. It is best to treat people who need drugs to laxate under the guidance of a doctor, and comprehensively treat them from various aspects such as psychology and diet. Drugs with strong diarrheal power are not suitable for children, the elderly and pregnant women. Women who use laxatives should avoid menstruation. ▲