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I've been suffering with constipation since I was an infant. I've had 3 colonoscopies in the past and am now 60 years old. Each time I received the diagnosis of having a redundant colon. This is apparently an inherited trait since my mother's grandmother (died at age 50 with colon constriction), her brother (colon constriction corrected by surgery age 60) and my mother (colon constriction corrected by surgery age 85 and died 2 months later with surgical complications). Though I drink 8-10 glasses of water daily, avoid red meat, never eating steaks or difficult to chew meats, now taking Milk of Magnesia nightly, eat numerous servings of fruit and vegetables daily, jog and lift weights at least 3 times weekly, cannot tolerate fiber additives, I still am plagued with constipation resorting to suppositories weekly. If I will probably end up with a colon constriction in my future , why will a doctor not suggest removing some this redundant colon now before it becomes a major problem?

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replied February 4th, 2010
Digestive and Bowel Disorders Answer A9718
Hi and welcome to the forum! I am glad that I can help you.

You would like to know how you can treat constipation and why doctors don't suggest surgery.

Constipation is a condition where individuals experience difficulties when discharging the feces. There are several reasons for its appearance such as diet, ignoring the need to defecate due to various circumstances, shrinking the lumen of the colon due to polyps, cancer or contraction of a segment of the colon due to lack of nerves in that segment(condition called megacolon) etc. Constipation may be treated with diet changes such as consuming more liquid-like food such as soup, milk, yogurt, small amounts of caffeine or tea(these substances are stimulants and increase the bowel movement) etc.

Given the data that you described you may be experiencing constipation. You might change your diet a bit by increasing the consumption of soups, milk and milk products, fruits and vegetables, coffee and tea (only if you don't experience high blood pressure). You can try consuming sweetened milk to provoke a bowel movement only if you don't experience diabetes melitus. Surgeries of the colon are at great risk of post operative peritonitis and lymphatic metastasis in case of cancer of the colon.

Please keep in mind that I provide medical information only. I am not able to diagnose medical conditions online. Please contact your doctor for further advice and information about treatment of constipation.

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