Before looking at treatments for constipation, it is important to first identify which kind of constipation you have. Through the course of my research, consultations with clients, feedback from readers, and my own struggle with constipation, I have come to identify two different types of constipation. Since I have not come across any labels for these in the medical literature (or perhaps I just didn’t read widely enough), I have made up my own labels to distinguish between these two different types of constipation. I call them peristaltic constipation and stenosis constipation. Of course, while most people seem to suffer from one or the other, there are people who suffer from a combination of the two.
1. Peristaltic Constipation
This type of constipation can consist of many different symptoms or factors, but the defining elements are as follows:
* You just don’t often (or rarely, never) feel the urge to have a bowel movement. You can have stool building up in your colon for days, but no urge or urgency to poo.
* If you’ve been constipated for a long time, this build up of stool may not even be uncomfortable anymore.
* When you do have a bowel movement, your stool is large and fairly wide. Even if it is in hard balls, the diameter is larger than half an inch.
Colonic massage can really help get your bowels moving and assist your body’s peristaltic mechanism.
2. Stenosis Constipation
I came up with the name for this one based on the medical label of anal stenosis (narrowing, tightness or stricture of the anal canal). Stenosis constipation means that you experience one or more of the scenarios below:
* You often feel the urge to defecate. In some cases, the urge can be frequent or continual. You may even feel the stool pushing against your anus, but when you try to poo, it is very difficult to pass stool and sometimes, or often, nothing comes out. When you do manage to poo, your stool can be any width, length or consistency.
* If you’ve had this type of constipation for a long time, then your urge to defecate may have greatly lessened, if not disappeared (remember the bowel is easily trained). However, passing stool is still extremely difficult and your anus/rectum can spasm and be very tight or narrow.
* When you manage to pass stool, the stool can be very thin, sometimes only the width of a flattened pencil. You strain and push mightily and it may feel like you’re passing a huge stool, but when you look in the toilet there’s only a very narrow or small amount of stool. Stools can be soft, hard, balls, or cylinders, but rarely larger than 1/4 inch – 1/3 inch in diameter and the maximum diameter is not usually more than1/2 inch.
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