CONSTIPATION

What Is Constipation?

Someone might have constipation if they:

• have fewer than three bowel movements (BMs) in a week

• have trouble having a bowel movement

• have stool (poop) that’s hard, dry, and unusually large

Constipation is a very common problem. It usually isn’t a cause for concern. Healthy eating and exercise habits can help prevent it.

CONSTIPATION

DIARRHEA

What Is Diarrhea?

Diarrhea is loose, watery stools (bowel movements). You have diarrhea if you have loose stools three or more times in one day. Acute diarrhea is diarrhea that lasts a short time. It is a common problem. It usually lasts about one or two days, but it may last longer. Then it goes away on its own.

Diarrhea lasting more than a few days may be a sign of a more serious problem. Chronic diarrhea — diarrhea that lasts at least four weeks — can be a symptom of a chronic disease. Chronic diarrhea symptoms may be continual, or they may come and go.

DIARRHEA

IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME

What Is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common intestinal disorder that affects the colon (the large intestine). The colon’s main job is to absorb water and nutrients from partially digested food. Anything that is not absorbed is slowly moved through the colon toward the rectum and out of the body as waste in the form of feces (poop).

Muscles in the colon work to get rid of the body’s waste products. They contract and relax as they push the undigested food through the large intestine. These muscles also work with other muscles to push the waste out of the anus.

If the muscles in the colon don’t work at the right speed for proper digestion or if the coordination with muscles in the rectum or pelvis is interrupted, the contents of the colon can’t move along smoothly. When this happens, a person can feel the belly cramps, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea that may be signs of IBS.

HEMORRHOIDS

HEMORRHOIDS treatment

Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in the anus or lower part of the rectum

RECTOVAGINAL FISTULA

A rectovaginal fistula is an abnormal connection between the lower portion of your large intestine — your rectum — and your vagina.

Bowel contents can leak through the fistula, allowing gas or stool to pass through your vagina.

A rectovaginal fistula may result from:

• Injury during childbirth

• Crohn’s disease or other inflammatory bowel disease

• Radiation treatment or cancer in the pelvic area

• Complication following surgery in the pelvic area

RECTOVAGINAL FISTULA

The condition may cause emotional distress and physical discomfort, which can impact self-esteem and intimacy. Talk with your doctor if you have signs and symptoms of a rectovaginal fistula, even if it’s embarrassing. Some rectovaginal fistulas may close on their own, but most need surgical repair.

COLORECTAL POLYPS

COLORECTAL POLYPS treatment

A colorectal polyp is a growth on the lining of the colon or rectum.