Exact Answer: 1 Week To 3 Months
Constipation does not have a single definition. Many patients experience one or more symptoms, such as irregular stools , hard stools, incomplete evacuation, straining when defecating, ineffective defecation, or spending too much time on the toilet.
Constipation can be caused by a variety of factors, including eating the incorrect foods, not eating the proper foods, inadequate fibre intake, and disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease.
How Long Does Pain From Constipation Last
I started being constipated last Wednesday, and ever since I have experienced severe pain and cannot walk straight. I have been experiencing severe headaches since then, as well. Do you have any suggestions and know how long the pain will last?
My first suggestion is to call your doctor.
It is true that cramps, gas pains and headaches can be signs of constipation. Sometimes the pain can be as agonizing as you describe it. But even though you may be suffering only from constipation and you dont think that warrants seeing a doctor, any extreme symptoms such as these should be checked out. That is especially true if this represents a sudden deviation from your normal bowel habits.
Constipation is more like a symptom than a disease. It has many causes, among them some serious conditions, such as colon cancer, Crohns disease and ulcerative colitis. Other factors that may cause or contribute to constipation include a low-fiber diet, poor diet, drinking too little water and other fluids, lack of exercise, poor bowel habits , certain medications, iron supplements, misuse of laxatives, pregnancy, hormonal changes and more.
As to how long the pain will last, if it is caused by constipation then its a good guess that your discomfort will continue until the constipation is relieved.
How To Relieve Constipation
One of the easiest ways to end your bout of constipation is to take a stool softener. Start with small doses and work your way up to a higher dosage if you must. The goal is just to get the bowels moving, not to give yourself diarrhea. Keep in mind that stool softeners also may artificially moisten your stool in order to get it to pass. Drink plenty of water to ensure that you dont get dehydrated while taking stool softeners.
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Can Constipation Cause Internal Damage Or Lead To Other Health Problems
There are a few complications that could happen if you dont have soft, regular bowel movements. Some complications include:
- Swollen, inflamed veins in your rectum .
- Tears in the lining of your anus from hardened stool trying to pass through .
- An infection in pouches that sometimes form off the colon wall from stool that has become trapped and infected
- A pile-up of too much stool/poop in the rectum and anus .
- Damage to your pelvic floor muscles from straining to move your bowels. These muscles help control your bladder. Too much straining for too long a period of time may cause urine to leak from the bladder .
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.
- Donât ignore the urge to poop.
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.
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How Long Is Too Long To Be Constipated
Many people experience occasional constipation that clears up on its own. However, some people require medical attention and treatment.
Constipation may last from a few days to several weeks. More lasting, or chronic, constipation can lead to health complications, such as:
It may be a good idea to consult a doctor if a person:
- feels that they are constipated more often than not
- takes laxatives more than two or three times per week
- feels that constipation is causing their quality of life to decline
When talking to the doctor, it is important to report any additional symptoms and any impact that constipation is having on day-to-day activities.
A person may need immediate medical attention if they have been constipated for a long time and have intense abdominal pain and nausea or vomiting.
Symptoms To Watch For During Home Treatment
if any of the following occur during home treatment:
- Constipation occurs or continues after 1 week of home treatment.
- Rectal pain develops or increases.
- Blood in the stool develops or increases.
- Uncontrolled leakage of stool occurs.
- Your symptoms become more severe or more frequent.
If you have any of these symptoms, you need to be evaluated by a doctor.
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Lack Of Physical Activity
A sedentary lifestyle may lead to abdominal pain and constipation. Regular physical activity reduces the amount of time it takes food to move through the gut.
Exercise also increases heart rate and the contraction of muscles throughout the body, including those in the intestines. When intestinal muscles contract, they help push stool along.
A on adolescents from Hong Kong suggests that there is a dose-response relationship between physical activity and constipation, with symptoms improving as a person does more exercise.
How Long Will I Need To Take Laxatives For
If you’ve had constipation for a short time, your pharmacist will usually advise you to stop taking the laxative once your stools are soft and easily passed.
However, if your constipation is caused by an underlying medical condition or a medicine you’re taking, your GP may advise you to take laxatives for much longer, possibly many months or even years.
If you’ve been taking laxatives for some time, you may have to gradually reduce your dose, rather than coming off them straight away. If you have been prescribed a combination of laxatives, you’ll normally have to reduce the dosage of each laxative, one at a time, before you can stop taking them. This can take several months.
Your GP will advise you about when it’s best to stop taking long-term laxatives.
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What Are The Causes Of Constipation
Medicines: Over the counter or prescription medicines often carry a side effect of constipation. If symptoms began after starting one of these drugs, ask your doctor to see if there are any alternatives. Please see Guts UK information on Opioid Induced Constipation for more information.
Emotion: there is a strong connection between feelings and how the gut works. This is called the gut brain connection, the gut and brain talk to each other, normal signals involve feeling hungry or getting butterflies Sometimes the brain and gut overshare information. Being upset or depressed can make the bowel slow down or speed up. Emotional upsets, even in childhood, may result in functional constipation many years later.
Disturbed eating behaviour: eating disorders and sustained periods of erratic eating can result in constipation, even if eating behaviour returns to normal.
Ignoring the natural urges to open bowels: ignoring bowel urges because of an aversion to public toilets or time or social constraints can result in changes to both how the bowel muscles work and the pattern of bowel opening.
Excessive straining: this can be because of difficulty co-ordinating the muscles that empty the bowel.
Irregular mealtimes reduced liquid intake and reduced physical activity: these can all worsen symptoms in people with a tendency towards constipation.
Pain, or fear of pain, on passing stools.
- Bleeding in the stool
- or rectal pain
Q: How Can I Prevent Or Get Rid Of Constipation
A: Dr. Zutshi emphasizes the big three: Water first. Fiber next. Exercise third.
- Water: Drink a lot. Juices, water, tea and coffee count toward your water intake. People who have normal bowel movements should aim for at least 64 to 80 ounces of water daily. Those who tend to be constipated should drink more.
- Fiber: If you cant get enough fiber from food, talk to your doctor about a supplement. Good supplements to try include Metamucil®, Citrucel® or Benefiber®.
- Exercise: Increasing your exercise can be as simple as walking more. You dont need to be a hardcore athlete.
If you think youre having issues with constipation, Dr. Zutshi advises you to be proactive.
See a gastroenterologist to figure out if everything is OK. And if you have not had a colonoscopy, and youre over 50, its time to schedule one.
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How Common Is Constipation
You are not alone if you have constipation. Constipation is one of the most frequent gastrointestinal complaints in the United States. At least 2.5 million people see their doctor each year due to constipation.
People of all ages can have an occasional bout of constipation. There are also certain people and situations that are more likely to lead to becoming more consistently constipated . These include:
- Older age. Older people tend to be less active, have a slower metabolism and less muscle contraction strength along their digestive tract than when they were younger.
- Being a woman, especially while you are pregnant and after childbirth. Changes in a womans hormones make them more prone to constipation. The baby inside the womb squishes the intestines, slowing down the passage of stool.
- Not eating enough high-fiber foods. High-fiber foods keep food moving through the digestive system.
- Taking certain medications .
- Having certain neurological and digestive disorders .
British Columbia Specific Information
Constipation is when you have bowel movements that are hard to pass or are less often than what is usual for you. Constipation can be helped by eating a diet that is higher in fibre and by drinking lots of fluids.
For information on healthy eating and constipation, see HealthLinkBC File #68l Managing Constipation with Diet: Adults and HealthLinkBC File #68h Fibre and Your Health. You can also call 8-1-1 to speak with a registered dietitian, Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time, or you can Email a HealthLinkBC Dietitian.
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When To See A Healthcare Provider
Some kinds of stomach pain need immediate attention. With others, you can call or visit your healthcare provider. It can be hard to know what you should do. Listen to your body and trust your instincts if you’re not sure.
If you have any of these symptoms along with stomach pain, call your healthcare provider within one to two days:
- Fever for three days or longer
- Loss of appetite
- Pain that gets worse or doesn’t get better within one or two days
You should also call your healthcare provider if you have stomach pain while being treated for cancer.
What To Do When At
If you still havent passed a stool after four or more days, and have tried these 5 constipation remedies, its probably time to . Usually, the above methods will help you, but occasionally there might actually be something physically blocking your intestines. If you notice any of the following symptoms before four days, call your doctor or go to an emergency room immediately:
Severe abdominal pain
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Diagnosis And Treatments For Ibs
The American College of Gastroenterology advises someone to contact a doctor if they think they may have IBS. However, the doctor will not usually do any tests, as they diagnose IBS based on the symptoms that someone has and the frequency.
For people who are age 45 or older, a doctor may perform a routine colonoscopy. People with a family history of colon cancer will require a colonoscopy before the age of 45.
Furthermore, the ACG states that IBS does not cause weight loss or bleeding with bowel movements. If a person experiences these symptoms, a doctor may investigate further to diagnose the cause.
How Long Does The Constipation Last
The ultimate meaning of constipation is getting difficulty in passing the stool regularly or unable to pour out your bowels. How long does the constipation last is the general point of thinking faced by almost everyone. Stool can be hard, lumpy, large or small because of constipationThere are some important things which wont let you think that how long does the constipation last, such as:
Eating fiberDrinking plenty of fluidAnd last but not the least, regular exercise.
How long does the constipation last varies from a person to person. No matter what sort of your immune system is or what is the level of your internal situation, it highly depends on your eating habits, lifestyle and other external factors which have a direct effect on your body . Individual can be on alert if he is facing the symptoms including:PainPain in abdomenGetting difficulty in bowel movements
Apart from how long does the constipation last an individual should see the causes behind severity of constipation. Although its a bit difficult to find out the accurate causes , but still there are plenty of reasons behind constipation, like:
Not enough in take of fiber including fruits, vegetables & cereals.Absence of fluids in your drinking habitIgnoring the urge or ignoring yourself to push out the stoolMedications side effectsAnxiety or depressed person face itEating disorder/ improper eating habitHypothyroidismColon cancerBowel syndrome irritation
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Fiber Is Not Always The Answer
If adding fiber to your diet in the form of food orsupplements makes you more bloated and blocked than before, there are a numberof potential reasons. For example, in slow transit constipation, a conditionwhere the bowel does not move things quickly through, fiber sits in your gut andcan make you feel worse.
Long story short: If fiber makes you worse, dont just addmore. See your doctor.
How To Relieve Constipation Naturally
Constipation is usually a result of too little fiber in the diet, combined with excess consumption of binding foods . A quick way to turn constipation around is to eat some fiber-rich snacks like raw vegetables, raw fruit, beans, nuts, and seeds. Combining these snacks with fresh fruit juice is sure to get your digestive system moving!
Another important thing to note is that, for some individuals, caffeine can exacerbate constipation symptoms others will suggest that caffeine keeps them regular. Since caffeine can be both a diuretic and a bowel stimulant, you need to be careful how you use this chemical when you are constipated. If you think you might be dehydrated, try drinking some water before you have that glass of tea or coffee.
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What Defines Chronic Constipation
Constipation can be defined in many ways, as bowel movement frequency can vary among healthy individuals from three movements a day to three a week. However, constipation should be considered when more than three days pass between bowel movements. Its one of the most frequent gastrointestinal problems in the United States, with over 2 million physician visits each year.
When constipation continues for more than a few months, its known as long-term or chronic constipation. Chronic constipation affects almost 15% of all adults and 30% of those over age 60. Its characterized by difficult, infrequent, or incomplete bowel movements. Chronic constipation is defined as having two of the six following symptoms for more than three months: straining, hard stools, less than three bowel movements per week, use of manual maneuvers to help evacuate stool, sensation of incomplete bowel evacuation, or sensation of anorectal blockage. Complications due to excessive straining, such as hemorrhoids, anal tears or fissures, impacted stools and rectal prolapse, can result from constant constipation. Chronic constipation can significantly decrease quality of life, as sufferers can experience abdominal and rectal discomfort and feel sluggish or bloated, causing interference with their daily lives. A small minority of patients with chronic constipation have disorders of the gut nervous system resulting in slow transit constipation.
How Can I Prevent Constipation
Use the same home-based methods you used to treat constipation to prevent it from becoming a chronic problem:
- Eat a well-balanced diet with plenty of fiber. Good sources of fiber are fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole-grain breads and cereals. Fiber and water help the colon pass stool. Most of the fiber in fruits is found in the skins, such as in apples. Fruits with seeds you can eat, like strawberries, have the most fiber. Bran is a great source of fiber. Eat bran cereal or add bran cereal to other foods, like soup and yogurt. People with constipation should eat between 18 and 30 grams of fiber every day.
- Drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. Liquids that contain caffeine, such as coffee and soft drinks, can dehydrate you. You may need to stop drinking these products until your bowel habits return to normal.
- Exercise regularly.
- Treat mild constipation with a dietary supplement like magnesium.
- Move your bowels when you feel the urge. Do not wait.
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Treatments For Constipation After Surgery
It may be a few days post-surgery before you have a bowel movement. If the other treatments arent kick-starting your digestive system, ask your doctor about laxatives.
- Stool softeners draw water from the intestines. They soften stool, making them easier to pass. They are usually taken at bedtime and work within six to eight hours. Stool softeners include docusate sodium .
- Fiber laxatives, such as psyllium , may be recommended, but speak to your doctor first. They are not typically recommended when constipation is caused by pain medications.
- Stimulant laxatives, such as bisacodyl , cause the intestines to contract. They are also taken in at bedtime.