In your own words define constipation and name the risk factors that might lead to develop constipation. List recommendations you would give to a patient who is suffering from constipation. You might use a previous experience you might have.

 Constipation is the condition in which an individual’s regularity of stool passage decreases significantly. There are numerous risk factors that may lead to constipation. For example, if one consumes a diet that is low in fiber or low in fluid intake. Additionally, lack of physical exercise is a risk factor for constipation.

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If an individual delays the urge to defecate or abuse laxatives, they also increase their chances of developing constipation. Enduring high stress, extended traveling, as well as bowel diseases and colon cancer can leave one at risk.

Certain medications and neurological conditions, such as spinal cord issues and strokes, can also be found to lead to constipation

From personal experience, there are several effective ways to treat constipation and reestablish the patient’s frequency of stool passage. For example, improving the patient’s diet by increasing the fiber intake amount and hydration, while also decreasing the intake of meats and processed foods that cause constipation, will help alleviate the problem.

Becoming more physically active will improve the patient’s situation, as well as encouraging them to defecate when the initial urge is felt. The patient can also take stool softeners and limit her intake of laxatives, if she has been overusing them. If those treatments do not work, the patient may look to see if there is an impaction that needs to be removed.

Based on the clinical manifestations on R.H. case study, name and explain signs and symptoms presented that are compatible with the constipation diagnosis. Complement your list with signs and symptoms not present on the case study.

There are several signs and symptoms from the case study that make it clear that the constipation diagnosis is accurate. The patient reported having only one bowel movement a week, at times. Usually, if someone goes at least three days without a bowel movement, it is a sign that they are experiencing constipation.

The patient also reported that when she is able to have a bowel movement, her stools are very hard, which is also indicative of the current diagnosis.

She also states that her bowel movements take more than 10 minutes to start, and that she has to strain to initiate it. These are also hallmark signs of someone suffering from constipation. As a side note, the patient has said that she is taking aluminum hydroxide tablets to help with her heart burn, which is a medication that can contribute to constipation. Her lack of exercise, due to her arthritis flare-up, is also a contributing to her constipation.

Other symptoms and/or signs of an individual with constipation is the reduction in the loudness or tone of the bowel sound. If an individual has an anal fissure, it may be because of large stools that are tearing the mucosal membrane of the anus, caused by constipation. Other signs include problems with pH, hemorrhoids, diverticulitis, and more.

Sometimes as an associate diagnosis and a complication, patients with constipation could have anemia. Would you consider that possibility based on the information provided on the case study?

 Yes, there is a strong possibility that R.H. may have anemia, as well as constipation. The primary reason that this could be the case is the patient’s use of naproxen to treat for arthritic pain. When an individual uses naproxen or other NSAIDS over a prolonged period, it can cause gastric erosion. This can eventually lead to gastrointestinal bleeding. If the bleeding is not addressed in a timely manner, it may cause anemia in the individual. Thus, it is necessary to check R.H. for this possible diagnosis.

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