Constipation Vs Obstipation: How To Identify And Manage The Symptoms

constipation vs obstipation

Constipation vs obstipation: These are two similar conditions that affect the digestive system. Both conditions involve difficulty passing stools, but there are some key differences between the two.

While constipation and obstipation may share some similar symptoms, the key difference between the two is the severity of the condition. Constipation is considered a mild to moderate condition that can usually be treated with lifestyle changes and over-the-counter medications. Obstipation, on the other hand, is considered a severe condition that may require medical intervention, such as enemas or surgery.

What Is Constipation 

Constipation is a common digestive problem that affects millions of people worldwide. It is characterized by infrequent bowel movements, hard stools, and difficulty or discomfort when passing stools. Constipation can be caused by a variety of factors, including a low-fiber diet, lack of physical activity, certain medications, and medical conditions such as hypothyroidism and diabetes.

Causes Of Constipation: 

There are many potential causes of constipation, including:

  • A low-fiber diet
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Chronic medical conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), diabetes, and thyroid disorders
  • Certain medications, including opioids, antidepressants, and blood pressure medications
  • Dehydration
  • Changes in routine, such as traveling or aging
  • Ignoring the urge to have a bowel movement
  • Anal fissures or hemorrhoids
  • Abnormalities in the colon or rectum, such as a obstruction or a narrowing of the colon
  • Psychological factors such as stress and anxiety
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Get Active With Yoga 

Yoga is a great exercise recommendation for alleviating constipation.  Yoga is a form of exercise that focuses on stretching and strengthening the muscles, which can help to promote regular bowel movements. Additionally, yoga can help to reduce stress, which can contribute to constipation.

Certain yoga poses can be particularly beneficial for relieving constipation. For example, the forward bend pose, or Paschimottanasana, can help to stretch the abdominal muscles and stimulate the digestive tract. The seated twist pose, or Marichyasana, can also help to massage the abdominal muscles and stimulate the digestive system.

Yoga can also include breathing exercises or pranayama, which can help to relax the body and mind, and reduce stress. Yoga breathing exercises such as diaphragmatic breathing, or Ujjayi pranayama can help to calm the mind and stimulate the digestive system.

It’s important to note that practicing yoga should be done under the guidance of a certified instructor, especially if you have any health conditions or injuries.

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Change Your Diet 

Eating high-fiber diets can help to alleviate any form of constipation because fiber helps to add bulk and absorb water in the digestive system, making it easier for stools to pass.

Fiber is a form of carbohydrate that your body does not digest and instead passes through your digestive system. As it moves through the system, fiber binds water to it and adds bulk to bowel movements. This increase in substance helps make intestinal passage more regular, avoiding the issues caused by constipation.

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Fiber can be found in a variety of foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds.

Some good sources of fiber include:

  • Fruits such as raspberries, pears, and apples
  • Vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and artichokes
  • Whole grains such as oatmeal, quinoa, and brown rice
  • Nuts and seeds such as almonds, chia seeds, and flaxseeds

Incorporating more fiber into your diet is an important step to improving overall health. However, it is important to note that increasing your fiber intake should be done gradually as a sudden influx can cause unpleasant gastrointestinal symptoms. Start by introducing more high-fiber foods into your diet over the course of a few weeks, and make sure to stay hydrated to help the fiber move through your system.

What is Obstipation: 

Obstipation, on the other hand, is a more severe form of constipation. It is characterized by infrequent bowel movements, hard stools, and difficulty or inability to pass stools. Obstipation can be caused by a variety of factors, including constipation that has gone untreated for an extended period of time, certain medical conditions, and blockages in the large intestine.

Causes Of Obstipation: 

Obstipation is a severe form of constipation characterized by infrequent bowel movements and difficulty passing stool. The causes of obstipation are similar to those of constipation, but may also include:

  • Neurological conditions, such as spinal cord injury or multiple sclerosis, that affect the muscles used for bowel movements
  • Hormonal imbalances, such as hypothyroidism
  • Anal stricture or rectal prolapse
  • Megacolon, which is a condition in which the colon becomes enlarged and dilated
  • Colonic inertia, which is a condition in which the colon does not contract properly
  • Certain genetic conditions such as Hirschsprung’s disease
  • Certain medications, such as anticholinergics, antispasmodics, and anti-Parkinson drugs
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When To Seek Medical Attention: Constipation vs Obstipation


Mild constipation can usually be treated with lifestyle changes and over-the-counter medications. However, if constipation persists or is accompanied by other symptoms, such as abdominal pain or rectal bleeding, medical attention should be sought.


Because Obstipation is a severe form of constipation that is characterized by the complete inability to pass stool  It requires immediate medical attention.  Because it can lead to serious complications such as bowel obstruction and fecal impaction.

Constipation vs Obstipation:  Treatment Options

Constipation Treatment 

Treatment for constipation typically includes increasing fluid and fiber intake, regular exercise, and the use of over-the-counter medications such as laxatives. In some cases, a change in diet or medication may also be necessary.

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Obstipation Treatment 

Treatment for obstipation, however, may require more aggressive measures, such as enemas, suppositories, or even surgery. In some cases, a procedure called a colectomy may be necessary to remove a portion of the large intestine if it is blocked or damaged.  You should consult your doctor to find the best suitable Obstipation treatment. 


In conclusion, constipation vs obstipation are similar conditions that affect the digestive system. Both conditions involve difficulty passing stools, but obstipation is a more severe form of constipation and may require medical intervention. 

To prevent constipation, it is important to maintain a healthy diet, stay hydrated, and engage in regular physical activity. 

If you are experiencing symptoms of constipation or obstipation, it is important to speak with your doctor to determine the best course of treatment.

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