It is most important to identify constipation symptoms. Constipation means your bowel movements are tough or happen less often than normal. Almost everyone goes through it at some point.Generally, a person is considered to be constipated when bowel movements result in passage of small amounts of hard, dry stool, usually fewer than three times a week.
While occasional constipation is very normal, many individuals experience ongoing issues that confound their day to day routines.
You may have constipation symptoms:
- Few bowel movements
- Trouble having a bowel movement (straining to go)
- Hard or small stools
- A sense that everything didn’t come out
- Belly bloating
Some causes of constipation include:
- Changes to what you eat or your activities
- Not enough water or fiber in your diet
- Eating a lot of dairy products
- Not being active
- Resisting the urge to poop
- Overuse of laxatives
- Some medications (especially strong pain drugs such as narcotics, antidepressants, and iron pills)
- Antacid medicines that have calcium or aluminum
- Eating disorders
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Problems with the nerves and muscles in your digestive system
- Colon cancer
- Neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis
- An underactive thyroid (called hypothyroidism)
- Excess calcium in your blood (hypercalcemia) due to overactive parathyroid glands,
What Should I Do If I Am Constipated?
Take these steps:
- Drink two to four extra glasses of water a day, unless your doctor told you to limit fluids for another reason.
- Try warm liquids, especially in the morning.
- Add fruits and vegetables to your diet.
- Eat prunes and bran cereal.
- Exercise most days of the week. When you move your body, the muscles in your intestines are more active, too.
- You can try taking a laxative, too. There are several types of laxatives, and you can buy many of them over the counter. Each of them works in a different way to ease constipation. Ask your doctor or pharmacist which kind might work for you and how long you should take it
- .Don’t ignore the urge to poop.
When Should I Call My Doctor?
Call your doctor right away if you have sudden constipation with belly pain or cramping and you aren’t able to poop or pass gas at all. Also, make the call if:
- Constipation is a new problem for you and lifestyle changes haven’t helped.
- You have blood in your stool.
- You’re losing weight even though you’re not trying to.
- You have severe pain with bowel movements.
- Your constipation has lasted more than 2 weeks.
- The size, shape, and consistency of your stool has changed dramatically.
How do I treat constipation?
Specific treatment for constipation will be determined by your doctor based on:
- Your age, overall health, and medical history
- Extent of the condition
- Your tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
- Expectations for the course of this condition
- Your opinion or preference
Most often, constipation can be treated through dietary and lifestyle changes, which relieve symptoms and help prevent the condition. Treatment may include:
- Diet modifications. A diet with 20 to 35 grams of fiber daily helps in the formation of soft, bulky stool. While adding foods such as beans, whole grains, bran cereals, fresh fruits and vegetables is helpful in adding fiber to the diet. Limiting foods such as ice cream, cheeses, meats, and processed foods, which contain little or no fiber can also be helpful.
- Laxatives. Laxatives may be prescribed after diet and lifestyle changes have failed to be effective.
- Eliminating or changing medication
- Biofeedback. Biofeedback is used to treat chronic constipation caused by anorectal dysfunction. This treatment retrains the muscles that control release of bowel movements.
Lifestyle changes, such as increased water and juice intake, regular exercise, and allowing enough time for daily bowel movements can be helpful.
- 1. Eat a well-balanced diet with plenty of fiber. Good sources are fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole-grain bread and cereal (especially bran).
- 2. Drink 1 1/2 to 2 Litres of water and other fluids a day (unless your doctor has you on a fluid-restricted diet). Fiber and water work together to keep you regular.
- 3. Cut back on milk. Dairy products can constipate some people.
- 4. Exercise regularly. Do something active for at least 30 minutes a day, most days of the week.
- 5. Go to the bathroom as soon as you feel the urge