People who are constipated have fewer than 2-3 bowel movement a week. The texture of a constipated stool is hard and lumpy. Some patients also have hard touch of the abdomen. Constipation causes a sensation to have a bowel movement but is difficult to pass.
The longivity of being constipated varies.
Everyone is different; regardless of age, sex, and race. Although, constipation has been targeted specifically on pregnant women, older adults, and people who do not intake food with enough fiber. Some medications and health conditions are also known to cause constipation. For example, pain medication (narcotics), iron pills, antidepressants, antacids, and some heart medication.
Complications from constipation can include hemorrhoids, dehydration, anal fissures, rectal prolapse, and fecal impaction.
When to report to your GI
- Bleeding from rectum
- Pain in abdomen
- Inability to pass gas
- Vomiting, fever, lower back pain
- Losing weight without trying
- Excessive bloating
Solutions that may help
- More liquids and water intake
- More physical exercise
- High fiber foods; grains, prunes, beans, veggies, etc
- Over the counter laxatives: stool softeners, suppositories, miralax
- Biofeedback therapy
Additional references and sources:
“Treatment for Constipation.” National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1 May 2018, www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/constipation/treatment.
“Constipation Prevention.” Cleveland Clinic, my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/4059-constipation/prevention.