Constipation is a common condition that affects people of all ages. It may be described as a variation in an individual's normal bowel habit with discomfort and diminished quality of life. Medical assessment is required as the underlying cause may be due to a serious medical condition. Managing patients with constipation presents many challenges to the health care professional, not only overcoming communication barriers associated with bowel habits but also because there is no universally accepted definition. Constipation is usually multifactorial, often with complicated underlying patho-physiology and it can be influenced by physical, psychological, physiological, emotional and environmental factors. Chronic constipation is one of the most common lower gastrointestinal disorders affecting people in America and is a key health concern for healthcare providers. This is mainly accurate for patients in high-risk groups such as the elderly, patients suffering from immobility, neurologically impaired patients and those with multiple health-care needs, as well as and those admitted to the hospital or residing in a healthcare facility. Unfortunately, constipation may be regarded as less important than other conditions commonly seen in general practice. Constipation has cost implications in terms of medications, containment equipment and nursing time. The following paper will investigate a patient suffering from constipation while developing a better understanding and approach of management for such ailment.
Health Assessment and Promotion Plan
Mrs. Burns a 64 years old female presents with chief complaint of being “constipated”. She states she has a bowel movement about every 3 to 4 days, feels the need to strain at defecation and her stools are hard and painful to excrete. She also has stated having frequent headaches, fatigue, a feeling of bloatedness and loss of appetite. As mention in the book, “Physical Examination and Health Assessment” by Jarvis, the aging adult frequently reports constipation signs and symptoms, such as reduced stool frequency (less than 3 bowel movements per week), and other common and troubling associated symptoms like straining, lumpy or hard stool, feeling of incomplete evacuation, feeling of anorectal blockage and use of manual maneuvers. Common causes of constipation include decrease in physical activity, inadequate intake of water, a low-fiber diet, side effects of medications (opioids, tricyclic antidepressants, and antacids), irritable bowel syndrome, bowel obstruction, hypothyroidism, and inadequate toilet facilities. Upon obtaining subjective data it was found that Mrs. Burns lives by herself after the death of her husband 6 months ago. She states no longer being able to eat as she used to when her husband was still alive and she cooked every day; now she usually eats by herself. She stated she has lost over 20 lbs. since her husband’s dead. She also reported usually feeling lonely and very sad. Client also stated her usual meals of the day include breakfast starting with a cup of coffee and a slice of toast, lunch is usually eaten between 1 and 2 pm and include can soup or a tuna sandwich if she feels hungry and for dinner tea. Anorexia is a loss of appetite, and the purpose for obtaining information about signs and symptoms of anorexia is vital to prevent the dangerous psychological and behavioral effects on all aspects of an individual's life. The individual can become seriously underweight, irritable and easily upset which can lead to depression and social withdrawal. Anorexia can also affect sleep and lead to fatigue during the day, as well as decrease attention and concentration (Prynn, 2011). Mrs. Burns does not often consume fruits and vegetables or other additional source fiber. She does not like the taste of water, so is very rare for her to...