Review

The constipation illness

10.34057/PPj.2019.38.03.004

  • GABRIELE BAZZOCCHI
  • MIMOSA BALLONI

Pelviperineology 2019;38(3):83-88

Constipation is commonly described as a variety of symptoms including infrequent bowel movements and/or rectal evacuation disorders. Hard stools, excessive straining, bloating and abdominal pain are frequently associated. The several clinical pictures resulting by their combination are mostly due to a primary disturbance of colonic propulsion and/or obstructed rectal emptying, but the chronicity of these initially functional disturbances induce structural changes in the recto-colonic tract (such as dilatation, dolicocolon, rectal prolapse, rectocele, hemorrhoids): constipation turns so in a condition of illness where primary and secondary disorders, functional and organic alterations are not no more clearly detachable and therapeutic priorities are a real challenge for primary care physicians and specialists. The recent knowledges indicate a pivotal role for the gut microbiota in the pathophysiology of colonic dysfunction underlying constipation, contributing to make it is a real “systemic” illness, and not a disorder of an organ, given that the impressive consequences which intestinal dysbiosis has on the Enteric, Autonomic and Central Nervous Systems.

Keywords: Chronic constipation; Intestinal microbiota; Colonic motility; Fecal microbiota transplantation