A patient presents to the physician with complaints of constipation. Which of the following could be the cause? (Select all that apply.)
Neurogenic disorder of the large intestine, Sedentary lifestyle, Low residue diet, Aging, Use of antacids
Constipation can be caused by neurogenic disorders of the large intestine in which neural pathways or neurotransmitters are altered and colon transit time delayed. A low-residue diet (the habitual consumption of highly refined foods) decreases the volume and number of stools and causes constipation. A sedentary lifestyle and lack of regular exercise are other common causes of constipation. Lack of access to toilet facilities and consistent suppression of the urge to empty the bowel are other causes. Excessive use of antacids containing calcium carbonate or aluminum hydroxide often results in constipation. Opiates, particularly codeine, tend to inhibit bowel motility. Conditions associated with constipation include congenital megacolon, hypothyroidism, pelvic hiatal hernia, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord trauma, cancer, cerebrovascular disease, and irritable bowel syndrome-constipation predominant. Aging may result in changes in neuromuscular function, causing constipation.