The concept of "constipation" describes the state of the body, in which there is a violation of bowel cleansing. The medical sphere treats this pathology as a social problem. Constipation is not a specific condition for a particular age or sex, however, it is commonly believed that infants and elderly people are more prone to developing this pathological problem.
- Etiology of constipation in the elderly
- Clinical picture
- Diagnostic measures
- Treatment of constipation in the elderly
- Laxatives for constipation
- Treatment of constipation with the help of folk remedies
- Proper nutrition - prevention and treatment of constipation
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If there is constipation, bowel cleansing may not occur for more than 48 hours. Collected in the body feces cause an increase in intra-abdominal pressure. This causes compression of the vessels and prevents the normal flow of blood through the veins belonging to the intestinal vascular plexus.
Fecal masses accumulated in the body provoke an intensification of fermentation processes and increase the amount of degradation products, which causes intoxication of the body. The delay in cleansing the intestine can be of two types:
- episodic - has a temporary character;
- chronic - can last more than six months.
Etiology of constipation in the elderly
Older people are more likely to develop constipation than young people. Among the main reasons for the development of this state are the following:
- development of dysbacteriosis, the appearance of changes in the intestinal microflora;
- the appearance of constipation on the background of receiving a large number of medications;
- weakening of the muscles of the abdominal wall and pelvis;
- violation of intestinal peristalsis and the appearance of fecal stones;
- lack of adherence to diet;
- hormonal changes in the body.
Constipation can occur as a result of changes in the hormonal background. In older women, this condition can develop against a background of menopause, as well as disruption of the thyroid gland and a decrease in the production of its hormones.
Among drugs that can cause a delay in bowel cleansing, opiates, anticholinergics, antidepressants, neuroleptics and diuretics vary. Elderly people use a fairly large number of different medications, which can give a side effect in the form of constipation.
Many believe that the emptying of the intestine should be daily, but the physiology of people is individual. One person can commit several acts of defecation a day, the other can empty several times a week. And the one and that case can be considered the norm, if the condition of the body is not violated and there is no additional symptomatology.
A clinic that can indicate the presence of constipation has the following symptoms:
- the appearance of the need to strongly strain the muscles of the press and perineum, to bring the stool outwards;
- After the act of defecation there remains a feeling of incompleteness of the process and a heaviness in the intestine;
- feces are dry, come out in small pieces, which is accompanied by painful sensations.
It is a symptom of constipation, which has an atonic character. With spastic constipation, the above symptoms are accompanied by increased gas formation, colic, abdominal tenderness without definite localization. Also there is heartburn, a depressive state, lack of appetite or its sharp deterioration, the appearance of icteric skin. With prolonged retention of stool in the body, symptoms of intoxication are added.
In older people, the most common form is chronic constipation. Forced bed rest or limited mobility can also affect the processes of bowel evacuation.
Experienced clinician to make the correct diagnosis is enough to collect an anamnesis of life and disease. An important point is to find out the cause that caused the appearance of constipation. General laboratory analyzes, as well as microbiological analysis of stool, are performed to determine the state of the intestinal microflora.
When carrying out an ultrasound study, you can determine the level of fullness of the intestine with calves and find out the cause, if it is visible. In order to examine the patient with ultrasound, it is necessary to conduct preliminary training.
- It is prescribed the use of laxatives for maximum cleansing of the intestine.
- A cleansing enema is being performed.
- A few hours before ultrasound, the patient takes activated charcoal (1 tablet per 10 kg of body weight).
- Before the examination, you should stop smoking, because tobacco smoke provokes the appearance of spasm of the intestine.
The next method of examining the elderly with constipation is radiographic examination of the intestine. This method allows you to exclude intestinal obstruction and is used for differential diagnosis. A barium mixture is introduced into the patient's body with the help of microclysters. It fills free intervals between the feces in the intestines. Under the X-ray machine you can see the level of "clogging" and possible obstacles.
X-ray examination of the passage is carried out to determine the time that is necessary for passage of food along the path. For several days the patient uses a special medication in capsules. A few days later, an X-ray examination of the large intestine is carried out. If the x-ray was able to determine the presence of the drug particles in the body, we can conclude that there is dysfunction of the intestine. With normal functioning, the drug is fully excreted with feces.
Treatment of constipation in the elderly
To prevent the transition of the state to a chronic form, it is necessary to find out the cause in time and start treatment for constipation. What to do from the very beginning?
Use several methods of treating the disease for the elderly. The use of enemas or washes is rarely used, because these procedures are quite stressful for the senile organism. The most commonly used medications, adjusted diet and exercise, as well as folk methods of treatment. All methods used are suitable for home treatment. Inpatient treatment requires severe forms of constipation, the causes of which are mechanical obstructions, as well as those that are accompanied by a strong intoxication of the body.
Laxatives for constipation
These drugs in most cases are the drugs of choice, because they have high efficiency and a gentle mechanism of action. Medicamental agents are divided into the following groups according to their actions:
- osmolytics - drugs that contribute to the softening of stool and accelerate the process of their excretion from the body;
- prebiotics - medicines that normalize the state of the intestinal microflora;
- irritable drugs - substances aimed at irritation of nerve endings, as a result of which there is an increase in peristalsis and the output of stool to the outside;
- fillers - medicines that promote the increase in the volume of stool due to dilution with water.
Regulax is an effective drug, manufactured in the form of fruit cubes. Includes the leaves of the hay and its fruits. The drug is used no more than a week to avoid the possibility of addiction. It is used for 1 fruit cube per night.
Medication Phytolax is considered a natural laxative. It consists of apricots, extract and leaves of hay, dill and leaves of plantain. The drug is available in tablets. It irritates, softens the stool and accelerates their excretion, relieves spasm of the intestine and fights gas formation.
Guttalax - a gentle remedy, released in droplets. With prolonged use may be addictive, so after one week from the date of the start of the medication, the drug should be replaced with another laxative.
Evacuol is a representative of irritant drugs. The mechanism of its action is to strengthen the work of the receptors of the large intestine.
Prelax is a representative of prebiotics. Its effectiveness in constipation is based on the normalization of the microflora of the intestinal tract. It is used in complex therapy with laxatives.
Laxative candles are good because their bioavailability is higher, compared with tablets. Widespread use in elderly lying people have acquired suppositories based on bisacodyl and glycerol. They are used only if the cause of constipation is not mechanical barriers.
Treatment of constipation with the help of folk remedies
Chronic constipation in elderly people is an indication for the use of folk remedies, in the case of their effectiveness, since the negative influence of medication forms on the body decreases.
- Drinking in the morning on an empty stomach 1 tbsp. l. vegetable oil.
- Therapeutic dish based on aloe juice: several aloe leaves are crushed to produce juice, lemon juice and a few spoons of honey are added. The mixture is taken on a teaspoon on an empty stomach.
- The use of a decoction of raisins and decoction from the seed of flax - 1 tbsp. l. to a glass of water.
- Infusion of burdock - 1 hour. l. chopped mug with a glass of boiling water. After a few hours, drain and take 3 to 4 times a day.
- When spastic constipation is prepared herbal collection of fennel, valerian, peppermint and chamomile in the ratio 1: 1: 2: 6.
Proper nutrition - prevention and treatment of constipation
Diet is used not only as a fight against the pathological condition, but also to prevent its development. The diet of the elderly should be rich in products containing fiber from plant origin. Here you can include fruits and vegetables, greens, cereals, sour-milk products.
It is necessary to reduce the amount of legumes, milk, cabbage, fried and marinated food, spices. Increase the amount of fluid used. Eat often, but in small portions, carefully chopping food.
It must be remembered that prolonged constipation is a mandatory indication for a specialist to clarify the cause and its safe elimination.