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Slow-transit constipation – causes, side effects and treatments at

Thursday, July 05, 2018 by

Slow-transit constipation refers to the reduced ability of the large intestines to move food through the digestive system. This is normally caused by abnormalities of the enteric nerves and causes a delay in stool passage through the colon.

Due to the slow movement of waste, chronic problems develop, such as constipation and uncontrollable soiling. The slow-transit disorder can be diagnosed as early as after birth wherein a newborn fails to pass his/her meconium within the next 24 hours.

This condition is said to have no cure.


Known risk factors and symptoms of slow-transit constipation

People with low income or those who belong in developing countries are said to be more at risk of chronic constipation. Other factors include:

  • Belonging to the female gender
  • Older age
  • Inactivity
  • Low-caloric intake
  • Low-fiber diet
  • Taking a lot of medications at the same time

Patients who suffer from slow-transit constipation experience the following symptoms:

  • Constipation
  • Reduced motility
  • Uncontrollable soiling
  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Nausea
  • Decreased appetite

Body systems affected by slow-transit constipation

Slow-transit constipation may lead to further complications, such as:

  • Anal fissures – Small tears in the skin around the anus. It may cause pain and bleeding when boweling.
  • Fecal Impaction – Difficulty or inability to push stool out. Normally occurs when a large volume of feces is bulked up in the rectum.
  • Hemorrhoids – Swollen weins in the anus or rectum area that may cause pain.
  • Rectal prolapse – Part of the rectum detaches from the anus.

Food items or nutrients that may prevent or relieve slow-transit constipation

Preventing or relieving the symptoms of slow-transit constipation is possible through a healthy diet that is rich in:

  • Fiber – It is a known dietary supplement that effectively helps digestive problems. Health experts recommend a higher intake of fiber for a better bowel movement. Foods like whole grains, fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds, and legumes are all packed with fiber.
  • Water – The colon absorbs water from the stool which makes it very important to drink more fluids. Dehydration can cause stool to become harder and drier.
  • Probiotics – Studies have shown that this can help soften stool. It can be sourced from yogurt, kefir, tempeh, kimchi, and pickles.

Treatment and management options for slow-transit constipation

When dealing with slow-transit constipation, experts usually prescribe laxatives to soften the stool and boost the system to push out stool. The following are herbal laxatives effective for treating this condition:

  • Black Seeds
  • Olive Leaves
  • Flax Seeds
  • Cascara Sagrada
  • Certified Organic Cloves
  • Senna
  • Slippery Elm
  • Bentonite
  • Turkey Rhubarb
  • Aloe Vera
  • Peppermint
  • Wormseed
  • Thyme oil powder
  • Garlic Extract

Since the list above contains moderate and mild herbal laxatives, it’s recommended that they’re used to create a mixture. Mixing them together can help ease constipation faster.

Where to learn more


Slow-transit constipation is a condition where a person suffers from difficulty in passing stool. This is usually caused by abnormalities of the enteric nerves. Risk factors include old age, female sex, low caloric intake, and a low-fiber diet.

Common symptoms of this condition are constipation, reduced motility, uncontrollable soiling, pain in the abdomen, nausea, and decreased appetite.

If slow-transit constipation is not treated, it can cause further complications, such as anal fissures, fecal impaction. hemorrhoids, and rectal prolapse.

Healthcare providers recommend a high intake of fiber-rich foods, water, and probiotics to ease slow-transit constipation. As for treatment, using herbal laxatives like flax seeds, senna, and aloe vera were found effective.

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