What is Constipation?
Constipation is defined as having hard, dry bowel movements, or going fewer than three times per week. Constipation can also include feeling like you can’t empty your bowels completely. Constipation is a common problem that usually lasts for a short time and resolves on its own. However, some people experience chronic constipation that can last for weeks or even months.
What Causes Constipation?
There are many possible causes of constipation, including:
– Not enough fiber in your diet
– Not drinking enough fluids
– Certain medical conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Parkinson’s disease, and thyroid problems
– Certain medications, such as painkillers, antidepressants, and blood pressure medications
– A sedentary lifestyle
How is Constipation Treated?
In most cases, constipation can be treated at home with simple lifestyle changes, such as increasing your fiber intake and drinking more fluids. If these home remedies don’t work, your doctor may recommend a laxative or stool softener. In rare cases, surgery may be necessary to remove obstructions in the bowel.
Constipation is a common problem that can usually be treated at home with simple lifestyle changes. However, if Constipation persists, it could be a sign of a more serious condition. If you experience chronic constipation, speak to your doctor about treatment options.
Symptoms of Constipation
The main symptom of Constipation is infrequent bowel movements. Other symptoms may include:
– Straining during bowel movements
– Hard, dry stool
– Feeling like you can’t empty your bowels completely
– Abdominal pain or cramping
– Bloating or a feeling of fullness in your abdomen
If you experience these symptoms, it’s important to see your doctor to rule out any underlying medical conditions. Constipation can also lead to more serious problems, such as fecal impaction and hemorrhoids.
Fecal impaction is a condition in which a hard, dry mass of stool forms in the rectum, making it difficult or impossible to pass stool. If left untreated, fecal impaction can lead to serious complications, such as intestinal blockage or rupture.
Hemorrhoids are swollen blood vessels in the anal or rectal area. Constipation can make hemorrhoids worse by straining during bowel movements. This can cause the hemorrhoids to bleed. If you experience bleeding from the anus, it’s important to see your doctor to rule out other causes, such as colorectal cancer.
When to See a Doctor
If Constipation lasts for more than a couple of weeks, it’s important to see your doctor. Constipation may be a sign of an underlying medical condition that needs treatment. In rare cases, constipation can lead to serious complications, such as fecal impaction or hemorrhoids. If you experience any of the following symptoms, it’s important to see your doctor right away:
– Rectal bleeding
– Abdominal pain
– Weight loss
– Difficulty passing stool
– Constipation that lasts for more than a couple of weeks