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Constipation - Symptom, Treatment And Causes

Suffering from constipation implies that the bowel movements happen less frequently or that the stool is tough. It is so common that most people experience it at some point in their lives. Even though it isn’t very serious a problem, you are prone to feel way better after the body is functioning like it should. The time gap between the bowel movements depends for each person. While some pass stool thrice daily, others may pass stool twice weekly. If the stool is passed after more than three days then it is generally considered to be too long. The fecal matter becomes harder after not being passed for three days at a stretch.

Some constipation relief techniques are:

  • Antacid medication having aluminum or calcium
  • Changing the usual activities or diet
  • Colon cancer
  • Consuming a lot of milk and other dairy products
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Eating disorders
  • Neurological conditions like multiple sclerosis or parkinsons’ disease
  • Being under active
  • Not enough roughage or water in the diet
  • Overusing laxatives
  • Nervous and muscular problems of the digestive system
  • Pregnancy
  • Resisting urges for passing stool, which some individuals might do due to hemorrhoids
  • Few medicines like certain pain killers
  • Stress
  • Hypothyroidism

What can be done for constipation treatment? Here are a few steps:

  • Drink warm beverages, more so in the morning
  • Add vegetables and fruits in your diet
  • Drink up to four more glasses full of water in a day, unless your doctor has limited fluid intake for some other reason
  • Have fibrous cereals
  • If you feel the need, take a mild stool softener or laxatives such as magnesium hydroxide. Don’t prolong laxative use for over two weeks without consulting your doctor. If the laxatives are overdone, then the symptoms may worsen.

    • Have a wholesome diet rich in fiber. Good fiber sources are vegetables, legumes, fruits and multi grain bread like bran.
    • Eat a well- balanced diet with plenty of fiber. Good sources of fiber are fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole-grain bread and cereal (especially bran).
    • Drink 1 1/2 to 2 quarts 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.
    • Avoid caffeine. It can be dehydrating.
    • Cut back on milk. Some people may need to avoid it because dairy products may be constipating for them.
    • Exercise regularly. Do something active for at least 30 minutes a day, most days of the week.
    • Go to the bathroom when you feel the urge.
    parkinsons disease
Treatable by medical professional Usually self diagnosable Lab test sometimes required Short-term: resolves within days to weeks
Trouble having a bowel movement. Swollen belly or belly pain. Hard or small stools.

Popular Health Tips

Constipation And Indigestion

Dt. Ritika Dua 90% (60 ratings)
BSc-Diet & Nutrition, M.Sc-Diet & Nutrition
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Delhi
Constipation And Indigestion
Constipation and indigestion.
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Learn To Let Go - Treating Constipation

DM - Gastroenterology, MD - Internal Medicine, MBBS Bachelor of Medicine & Bachelor of Surgery
Gastroenterologist, Noida
Learn To Let Go - Treating Constipation
I mornings are not your cup of tea and you have to wake up for work, it already proves difficult for you to function properly. Throw into that mix an inability to move your bowels and your whole day is ruined for good. Constipation is primarily a huge discomfort in the pit of your stomach. You feel like you want to empty yourself and you run to the loo only to be disappointed once again. If you can t relieve yourself you might end up feeling bloated and experience abdominal aches, passing stool might just prove to be the hardest activity while running back and forth from the loo always feeling as if there is some unfinished business with your bowel movements. The normal frequency of bowel movements in adults is 1 to 2 per day and children may end up with 3 to 4 a day. If you are constipated the movement becomes restricted to just 3 a week or even less. There are a number of reasons behind constipation - the number one being not drinking enough water or not including enough roughage in your diet or if you lead a sedentary life. There are three categories into which constipation is broken into: primary, secondary and congenital. However, constipation does not have to rule your life, in fact here are some treatments you can avail of to combat it and lead a happier life: Eating habits: You need to include roughage in your diet for it weighs your stool down and makes it easier for you to eliminate it from your body. Roughage rich food items include beans, berries, green vegetables, mushrooms, whole grain foods, cereal and muesli and nuts. Consult a dietitian to learn how much fibre intake is required for you daily, don t rush it as a sudden increase may lead to gas. Also, keep yourself hydrated, drink lots of water throughout the day as it will soften your stool allowing for easy passage. Exercise: Daily exercise facilitates muscle movement in your intestines. Doing abdomen based exercises like crunches and push ups will not only affect your entire system but also help make your stomach muscles more flexible and accommodating to easy bowel movements. Additionally, don't force your bowel movement and take as much time as you need in the loo until the flow occurs naturally. Laxatives: This is a method employed in the more severe cases of constipation. You will be given fibre supplements, lubricants, stool softeners, osmotics and stimulants. These will help add mass to your stool and help the stool move more easily through your colon and contract your intestinal muscles for easier processing.

Different Ways To Prevent Constipation After Back Surgery!

MS - General Surgery, MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery
General Surgeon, Bangalore
Different Ways To Prevent Constipation After Back Surgery!
Constipation is a common problem which patients face after major surgeries. Back surgery is one of the conditions after which constipation occur causing discomfort and pain. Following are the ways to prevent the unpleasant and often painful side effects of constipation after back surgery: Resume activity as early as possible after surgery to help body functions return to normal. Walking is one of the ways in which constipation can be prevented as it helps in the movement of bowels. Minimize the use of narcotic medications which are used to control pain as narcotics slow down the bowel motility thereby leading to constipation. If possible, try to take a non-narcotic painkiller. Drink plenty of water and increase fluid intake at least more than 2 liters/day to prevent hard stools and constipation. Eat food which has high fiber content, such as whole grains, legumes, oatmeal, brown rice, beans, fruits, and vegetables, to provide roughage which will help to stimulate the intestines. Avoid eating food items, such as cheese, meat, white rice, processed food, and milk, which aid in constipation. Use a fiber laxative to reduce the risk of constipation. Try and use natural laxatives, such as prune juice or apple cider. Use bulk fiber laxative which adds bulk to the stool and helps keep water in the colon. Drink natural laxative, such as tea which will help you get the urge for passing stools. Stool softener/emollient laxatives help fluid to mix with a stool to soften it making it easy to pass through the intestines and colon. Stimulant laxatives, such as Dulcolax and milk of magnesia, are commonly used to prevent constipation by stimulating bowel contractions. Eat small quantity of food at short intervals rather than eating in large quantities at a time to aid digestion and prevent constipation.In cases of very bad constipation suppositories, such as Dulcolax are inserted into the rectum. This process helps by causing a contraction of the rectum and pushing the stool out. The action of the suppository is very quick. An enema is also used commonly to relieve constipation. It is usually water or saline which is injected into the rectum up to the colon thereby stimulating the colon to contract. Lubricants are similar to stool softeners which are used to relieve constipation (For example, oil-based products, such as mineral or cod oil). Do not delay to go to the washroom when you get the urge to pass stools. Use home remedies such as honey, lemon juice, coffee, castor oil, or raisins to prevent constipation. Herbal laxatives also help the intestinal muscles to push stools through the colon as well as soften stools. Thus, by using the above methods, constipation post a back surgery can be resolved.

7 Foods To Help You Poop Better!

Dr. Rakesh Sharma 87% (11 ratings)
General Physician, Delhi
7 Foods To Help You Poop Better!
Each person has his own individual bathroom habits and it is totally his/ her personal lifestyle that dictates their regular bowel movement. However, having a bowel movement fewer than 3 times in a week would be deemed as constipation and there can be a host of reasons leading to unhealthy poop. Thankfully, there are some foods which can help you have healthy poop without troubling your bowels and some of them are: Dried plums: This dry fruit is not just famous for their delicious taste but also for the fact that they contain high amounts of fiber. Fiber is a nutrient that helps in increasing the bulk of the poop and aids them to move along the intestine. Prunes or dried plums are also known to contain fermentable sugars, sorbitol, and fructans which together create a laxative effect. Kiwi: There is hardly any individual who doesn t like kiwis. And the good thing is that kiwis contain a high amount of fiber which keeps the digestive tract clear. It is also rich in vitamin C and antioxidants which make a cupful of kiwi essential to everyday diet. Popcorn: It is not just a wonderful afternoon snack but can increase the daily intake of fiber in the diet. It is recommended by experts to replace the evening potato chips with popcorns that would help the body in different ways including easy bowel movement. Water: This is quite obvious as water is critical to keep you hydrated and help the poop move easily through the intestine. An individual who is even a bit dehydrated would have harder poop which becomes difficult to pass. It is therefore very important to drink 8 to 10 glassful of water every day. Flaxseeds: If someone can manage to eat a tablespoon of ground flaxseeds in a day, then the body gets 2 grams of fiber. This may sound inadequate, but it really helps in bowel movement. The best thing about flaxseeds is that one can add them in yoghurt, smoothie, salads or evening snacks. It is important to note here that one should not eat flaxseeds as a whole as the human digestive system is not able to digest it. It is important to either ground it or purchase them pre-ground to reap the benefits of flaxseeds. Oranges: Having a large, juicy orange in place of a glassful of orange juice can aid the digestive tract to pass the stool. One big orange can offer 4 grams of fiber in exchange of 86 calories. Plus, it is known to contain flavonols which help in treating constipation. Oatmeal: The best thing about oatmeal is that equal amounts of soluble and insoluble fibers. The function of insoluble fiber is to add bulk to the stool and help in passing it out quickly while the work of the soluble fiber is to dissolve in the water for formation of a gel-like substance making it easier to pass. Try these foods today to have a healthy stool and eliminate problems of constipation.
3060 people found this helpful

Abdominal Surgery: Caring for Yourself at Home!

Dr. Aasim Anees Hussain 85% (12 ratings)
M.S, General Surgery, Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery (M.B.B.S.), Medicine, Fellowship In Minimal Access Surgery, Fellowship In Laparoscopic & Robotic Onco-Surgery, FIAGES
General Surgeon, Chennai
Abdominal Surgery: Caring for Yourself at Home!
Every year, millions of people all over the world undergo abdominal surgery. If you belong to that group, you will want to get back on the feet as early as possible. But there are many aspects that patients do which can slow down the recovery process and lead to delayed and uncomfortable and sometimes, fatally dangerous complications. In recent times, hospitals employ enhanced recovery after surgery or ERAS for pain management, pre-operation eating, and post-operation exercise. The result of this protocol is that the recovery time is reduced by one-third which indicates that you can go home a few days earlier while the rate of complication drops manifold. Regardless of whether you have undergone a hernia repair surgery or removal of gallbladder or hysterectomy or colorectal cancer, the following steps can help you heal faster. Get walking as soon as you can: When you are recovering from the abdominal surgery, you should aim for three to four walks regularly. This is because movement helps the lungs to expand which can reduce the chance of having pneumonia which is a common risk of post-surgery. It can help in the movement of blood in the extremities while decreasing the likelihood of blood clots. Cut back on narcotic painkillers: Your doctor may recommend a non-opioid pain reliever or an epidural injection which can protect bowel function. But you should try not to rely on these drugs for a longer period and strive to cut down on them since they can cause various complications. They can slow down the function of intestine which causes constipation. This is extremely troubling after undergoing the abdominal surgery and can delay recovery time. Drink a lot of liquids: You should start drinking water and other liquids as soon as your doctor allows you to do so. If you are a coffee lover, you can start drinking that as well to prevent caffeine withdrawal symptoms like headaches. But make sure you can drink a lot of water for avoiding dehydration. Chew gum: Once you have undergone abdominal surgery, the digestive system would become slow and may decline from the optimal function. It can be extremely uncomfortable and prolong hospital stay. When you chew gum, it makes the body feel that you are eating which will compel the digestive system to start functioning again. Spend time on a rocking chair: Most people know that sitting tends to open the lungs better than lying flat. But when you spend time in a rocking chair, the additional activity can be extremely beneficial for your body. The best thing you can do for yourself is to get up and walk. Following these few tips, it will be easier for you to recover from abdominal surgery.
3197 people found this helpful

Popular Questions & Answers

I am having constipation problem since one week, I am eating lots of fibre, still it's very very difficult to do. Please help me how my bowl moment will be clear and smooth. Thank you.

Dr. Nihar Ranjan Naik 93% (225 ratings)
General Physician, Sambalpur
Syp Dufalac 10 ml thrice daily after food for 5 days. Don't take heavy meal at a time. Don't skip breakfast. Avoid non-veg especially motton and chicken and spicy oilly fast food. Drink water before 30 min and after 30 minutes of a meal. Take lemon juice. Avoid tea coffee. Do some kind of excercise. Do not withheld your stool passage. Drink cold milk early in the morning.
1 person found this helpful

I have black stool, constipation,chest burn, heavy head, back pain, can not work pro properly. What should i do?

Dr. Col V C Goyal 94% (9171 ratings)
CCEBDM, PG Diploma In Clinical cardiology, MBBS
General Physician, Ghaziabad
You have to improve your food habits do 1. Take 2/ 3 glass of warm water in the morning before brush 2. Take more water in day 3. Take meals at fixed hrs, chew food properly/ completely, no eating quickly 4. Take small amount of food at a time, take more frequent meals - may be five times a day. 5. No spicy/ fried/ fast/ junk/processed food. 6. No smoking, chewing gum, and carbonated beverages. 6. No milk for few days, can take curd, no uncooked salad 7. Avoid constipation 8. Use nibu pani (lemon water) 2/ 3 times a day 9. Do not drink/ store water in plastic bottles. 10.relax and walk for 30 mts daily 11. Take enough rest- do not lie down immediately after eating. Take dinner 3 hrs before sleeping. No late nights 11. Keep your weight under control. 13. Avoid tea, coffee, alcohol 15. Reduce physical and mental stress. Maintain healthy life style. Do exercise regularly. 16. No unnecessary for medicine contact on private chat good luck..

I am having huge problems related to stomach like constipation etc and digestion problems too. My weight is 50 kg @age of 23 yrs.

Dr. Jagdish Prasad Mehrotra 92% (1547 ratings)
General Physician, Gurgaon
Take following measures 1. High fiber food a. Grains 6-11serving like whole grain bred, whole wheat, mixed grain, brown rice, wheat pasta, oatmeal b. Vegetables 3-5 serving like spinach, broccoli, green peas, green beans, carrots c. Fruits 2-3 serving between two measure meal like appel, orange, berries and dried fruits like dates and alubukhar d. Dry fruits like walnuts, peanuts cashew etc. 2. Plenty of water (in morning empty stomach 3 glass lukewarm water) 3. Plenty of salad in lunch and dinner 4. Avoid oily spicy and processd food 5. Avoid alcohol, smoking and tobacco chewing avoid refined carbohydrate like maida 6. Morning walk 35 minutes daily 7. Excercise and yoga for 35 minutes 8. Avoid stress and anxiety 9. Chew food slowly 10. Take small and frequent meal dinner should be light and 2 hours before retiring consùlt on line with progress for further progress for further treatment with detailed çomplaint.

Constipation after taking Calcium tablets (calcium carbonate). Please suggest how to avoid constipation after while taking calcium.

Dr. Pulak Mukherjee 91% (3640 ratings)
Homeopath, Hooghly
U have to stop taking calcium,,take 4-5 ladies finger boiled ,,take before breakfast take amla and alovera juice,,take fruits,,take oats in breakfast,,take plenty of water,,with this u need proper homoeopathic treatment to cure ur problem permanently
1 person found this helpful

Health Quizzes

Homoeopathy and Constipation!

Dr. Mahesh Mishra 92% (874 ratings)
Homeopath, Sagar
Common salt can treat constipation. True or False? Take this quiz to find out.
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Constipation - How It Affects Your Sex Life?

Dr. Rahul Gupta 97% (14940 ratings)
MD-Ayurveda, Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine & Surgery (BAMS)
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Anal sex can cause constipation. True or False. Take this quiz to know now!
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Constipation - How Can You Get Relief?

Dr. Raj Vigna Venugopal 87% (10 ratings)
MBBS, MD - Internal Medicine , DM - Gastroenterology
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Consuming olive oil, nuts and avocados are harmful in case of constipation. True or false? Take this quiz to know more.
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Dealing with constipation - Know the proper way!

Dr. Pravin Patel Vijay Patel 89% (150 ratings)
MD - Medicine , MBBS
General Physician, Vadodara
Regular physical exercise is known to reduce constipation. True or False. Take this quiz to know now!
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Constipation and how it affects your sex life

Dr. A. K Jain 88% (677 ratings)
Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine & Surgery (BAMS)
Sexologist, Lucknow
Anal sex can cause constipation. True or False. Take this quiz to know now!
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Problem of Constipation
Mera naam Dr G L Moondra hai. Main Prakratik chikitsa ka consultant hun. Aaj me apse Kabz ke vishay me kuch baat karna chahta hun. Humari yeh paachan pranali hai, mukh se lekar recrum tak iski kul lambaai 7 meter se adhik hoti hai. Iski antim bhaag ki lagbhag ek meteer lambaai me humara bhojan ka bacha hua bhaag, mal ke roop me parivartit hota hai. Aur iske antim chorr se bahar nikal jata hai. Kisi bhi karan se jab ye mal bahar nahi nikal pata hai, ye aant me ikhatta hone lagta hai, to ise kabz kehte hai. Yeh kabx ki beemari sari duniya me feli hui hai. Sare sansaar me iska bohot he vistaar hai. Sur isko mitaane ke lie hazaaro prakaar ki dawaiya duniya me bikti hai parantu kabz ka theek hone ka koi naam he nahi hai. Chikitsak log kehte hai ki kabz koi badi beemari nahi hai, balki beemari hai he nahi. Aur sahi baat bhi hai. Vaastav me kabz koi beemari nahi hai parantu humare shareer me jitni beemariya hoti hai, jese sardi zukham se lekar cancer tak, in sab he dawaiyo me kabz se kahi na kahi, kuch na kuch vaad zarur hota hai. Aur yahi kaaran hai ki kabz se saari duniya chintit rehti hai. Kabz zindagi ki sab khushiya cheen leta hai. Aur islie ise mitaane ke liye log bohot prakaar ke padaartho ka upyg karte hai. Parantu ye padaarth kabx ko mitaate nahi, balki aanto ko system ko aur bhi kamzorr kardete hai. Aus is prakaar zada se zada quantity me aur zada shaktishaali padaartho par manushya nirbhar hota chala jata hai. Vaastav mein dekha jaae to kabz ka mukhya kaaran hai khaan paan ki gadbad. Humare khane mein reshe ki, fibre ki bohot kami hojati hai. Khane me fibre ki kami ka karan hai humare khane me cheeni, maida, dhuli hui daal ityaadi. Reshe ki poorti hoti hai sabziya khane se aur fruits khane se. Lekin bohot log ya to fruits aur sabziya khate he nahi, aur khate bhi hai to unko cheel kar itna saaf kardete hai ki reshe wala bhaag totally nasht hojata hai. Is prakaar ke bhojan se he kabz hota hai. Agar kabz mitana hai to iska keval or keval upaaye prakratik chikitsa hai. Prakratik chikitsa ke dwara kabz se peedit logo ko ye bataya jata hai ki unke bhojan me kya sudhar hona chaie, unhe ye bhi bataya jata hai ki unko kya vyayaam karna chaie jisse ki kabz na ho, aur sath he yeh bhi bataya jata hai ki kis prakaar kabz hojane par uski haaniyo se bachne ke liye kya upaaye kar sakte hai. Yeh sab mila kar prakratik chikitsa ek aisi vidha ban jati hai jise naa keval kabz mit jata hai balki shareer ke aur doosre rog bhi khatam hojate hai. Sath me dawaiyo par bhi apki nirbharta kam hojati hai. Yadi is vishay me aap aur kuch janna chahte hai ya fir apni beemari ko mitaane ke liye consult karna chahte hai, to aap Lybrate ke through mujhse baat kar sakte hai ya appointment lekar aap mujhse mil bhi sakte hai.
Having issues? Consult a doctor for medical advice