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Introduction

Constipation is a certain type of medical condition which is characterized by difficulties in expelling hard feces. It is often the precursor to another common medical condition which is known as the Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS. This other medical condition is commonly caused by excessive absorption of water from the digested food in the colon. Irritable bowel syndrome is a condition which lasts much longer than the constipation. When the ingested food items move too slowly through the gastrointestinal tract, the food from it gets absorbed in much larger amounts, which leads to increased hardening of those food items. As a result of all that, defection becomes rather distressing and it is often associated with painful sensations.

Constipation and irritable bowel syndrome may also be caused by various digestive illnesses or as side effects of various different types of medications. If a person suffers from constipation and leaves it untreated, it may easily progress into irritable bowel syndrome. The severity of the symptoms usually determines the proper method of treatment. The treatment methods usually include different medical interventions, use of laxatives, plenty of physical exercises and dietary changes. 

Causes and Symptoms

Constipation is commonly triggered by an insufficient consumption of dietary fibers, diuretics, calcium, iron and fluids. Other possible causes of constipation may include lactose intolerance, lead poisoning, patulous anus, hypokalemia, hypothyroidism or even paralysis. Constipation can easily be recognized by certain symptoms and those include paradoxical diarrhea in severe cases, vomiting, sensation of incomplete bowel evacuation, infrequent bowel movements, distended and taut abdomen, infrequent urge to void, hemorrhoids on account of straining and difficulty in passing hard stools.

The diagnosis of these medical conditions is always based only on the description of the symptoms. The treatment for the conditions usually consists of increased intake of fluids and foods rich in dietary fiber. Other treatment options include regular exercising, colonic irrigation, ingestion of lactulose (which is a nonabsorbable type of synthetic sugar), enemas for mechanical stimulation, use of laxatives and a healthy, well balanced diet. The best way to treat constipation and irritable bowel syndrome is to actually prevent them from occurring in the first place. A daily bowel movement is a must in order to avoid these medical conditions from occurring. Psychological interventions and certain dietary adjustments may be required in some cases. These medical conditions should not be left untreated because they may lead to certain more serious types of diseases which affect the gastrointestinal tract. 

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