7 Complications of constipation

Constipation is a very common condition that can cause many side effects. Mild constipation for a short period of time may not cause any serious problems. However, if you have severe constipation for a longer period of time, you may get the following complications.

complications of constipation

1. Haemorrhoids

Haemorrhoids, also known as piles are dilated veins in the rectum or anus. They are caused by long standing constipation. Excessive straining to pass stools causes more pressure on the blood vessels. It makes the veins dilated and inflamed.

Haemorrhoids are the most common complication of chronic constipation in adults.

2. Anal fissure

A tear in the anal mucosa (inner lining) is called anal fissure. It is a painful condition. It is caused by forceful straining at defecation to pass hard stools. Anal fissure is more common in children than adults.

3. Rectal prolapse

The rectum is last part of the large intestine. When you strain at the toilet, the rectum may turn itself inside out and come out through the anus. This condition is called rectal prolapse. You may be able to feel the prolapsed rectum as a soft bulging.

Sometimes, the prolapsed rectum doesn’t go back on its own. You need to push it back into the anus.

4. Diverticular disease

One of the complications of long standing constipation is diverticulosis. It occurs due to the increased pressure in the large bowel caused by chronic constipation. The elevated pressure causes small defects in the muscular wall of the large intestine. The inner lining of the bowel pushes through these defects and forms small pouches.

These pouches may get infected and cause diverticulitis. It is a serious condition that needs immediate treatment. If you have any symptoms such as fever, abdominal pain, and blood in the stools, you should see a doctor.

5. Chronic back pain

Lower back pain is a surprising side effect of constipation. You may not believe it. Want more information? Read this article.

6. Hernia

Protrusion of organs through the abdominal wall is called hernia. It happens when the intra-abdominal pressure increases. You may notice a lump in the groin or belly button area when you strain.

7. Urinary retention and urinary tract infection

The large bowel and the urinary bladder are located close together in the body. Large amounts of hard stools in the bowel can exert pressure on the bladder. It can cause the bladder to not empty well. Retention of urine in the bladder may cause urinary tract infection.

Bottom line

Constipation can cause serious consequences. Getting proper treatment is essential to prevent these complications.