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.
When To See A Doctor For Constipation
You should contact your doctor if you go beyond three days without a bowel movement and this is unusual for you, says Davis.
While hormonal changes and the lack of physical activity may result in the occasional bout of constipation, chronic constipation or extremely infrequent bowel movements can have several causes, which include:
- Colonic diseases, such as irritable bowel syndrome and ulcerative colitis
- Abdominal mass, or an abnormal lump in the abdomen, caused by a cyst, immune reaction, or cancer
- Defecatory disorders, like insufficient relaxation of anal sphincter or impairment of rectal sensation
- Neurological conditions, like multiple sclerosis or a spinal cord injury
If you experience like severe abdominal pain, unintended weight loss, blood in the stool, or , you need to get in touch with your primary care provider.
Signs Symptoms And Causes
You might feel bloated and have pain, or you might have to strain when you try to go.
Some medicines, and even some vitamins, can make you constipated. You can get constipated if you do not get enough fiber, drink enough water, or get enough exercise. You can also get constipated if you put off going to the bathroom even though you have the urge to go.
Try to get to know your normal bowel movement pattern, so that you can keep constipation from getting worse.
Constipation: When To Call Your Doctor
Most of the time, healthy changes to your diet and exercise habits will smooth out any digestive woes. But if you’ve tried these tips for 3 weeks and haven’t noticed a change, talk with your doctor. TheyÂ may suggest that you take a laxative for a few days to help retrain your system. You should also call your doctor right away if you notice blood in your stool, have belly pain, or lose weight without trying.
Is Constipation A Sign Of Ketosis
While many keto beginner experience constipation, its not a sign your body is in a fat-burning state of ketosis. The body is adjusting to a new diet and might be learning how to digest new kinds of foods altogether, so constipation can occur in keto beginners. Here are some better ways to tell if you are in ketosis:
- Fruity or bad breath
Stop Taking Certain Medicines Or Dietary Supplements
If you think certain medicines or dietary supplements are causing your constipation, talk with your doctor. He or she may change the dose or suggest a different medicine that does not cause constipation. Dont change or stop any medicine or supplement without talking with a health care professional.
What Are The Symptoms Of Constipation
Symptoms of constipation include:
- You have fewer than three bowel movements a week.
- Your stools are dry, hard and/or lumpy.
- Your stools are difficult or painful to pass.
- You have a stomach ache or cramps.
- You feel bloated and nauseous.
- You feel that you havent completely emptied your bowels after a movement.
Method 3 Of 3:when To Seek Medical Treatment
Why Is My Older Cat Not Using Its Litter Box Anymore
A cat can develop a fear of its litter box that is medical or psychological in nature. The most common explanations for this include:
- It hurts to defecate
- The litter box hasnt been cleaned
- The litter within has changed scent or texture
- There is too much litter in the box
- The litter box is in a noisy area
- The litter box has been moved
- The cat has outgrown its litter box
- Another cat is using the litter box
Cats are fussy about their litter box, so it must meet these criteria:
- Cleaned no less than once a day
- Located in a quiet area, away from noise or footfall
- Unique to the cat. Multiple cats require multiple litter boxes
- No more than two inches of a familiar, unscented litter
- Large enough for the cat to fit into comfortably
If you are confident that your litter box is not the problem, the issue could be a urinary tract infection. UTIs make elimination painful. Your cat may think that its the litter tray thats hurting it and avoid it. Consequently, it will hold in its waste and become constipated.
As the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery explains, feline UTIs frequently reoccur. This means that antibiotics may only provide temporary relief from the problem.
A cat without a UTI may still avoid its litter box due to discomfort. Constipation is painful as the stool is so hard and difficult to pass.
Medical Causes Of Constipation
Constipation is sometimes symptomatic of underlying medical problems, such as:
- Slow transit some people naturally pass motions less often than most people. It seems their bowel pacemaker may be less active. These individuals are more likely to become constipated with minor changes in their routine.
- Anal fissure a tear in the lining of the anus . The person may resist going to the toilet for fear of pain.
- Obstruction the rectum or anus may be partially obstructed by, for example, haemorrhoids or a rectal prolapse.
- Rectocoele the rectum pushes through the weakened rear wall of the vagina when the woman bears down or strains.
- Hernia an abdominal hernia can reduce intra-abdominal pressure, which makes it more difficult to pass a motion.
- Abdominal or gynaecological surgery a combination of change in routine, strange surroundings, post-operative pain and codeine-containing analgesics is a potent cause of constipation and often needs preventive care.
- Irritable bowel syndrome characterised by abdominal pain, bloating, and either constipation or diarrhoea or alternating constipation and diarrhoea.
- Problems of the endocrine system such as hypothyroidism, diabetes or hypopituitarism.
- Tumour pain while trying to pass a stool could be a symptom of rectal cancer.
- Diseases of the central nervous system such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinsons disease or stroke are associated with an increased susceptibility to constipation.
Ask Your Provider About Medications
Some medications can increase the likelihood that you will have constipation. One big culprit in pregnancy can be iron-laden prenatal vitamins, which are often given to help prevent . If you are having issues with the vitamins, ask your provider if you can switch. You might also try ways to prevent anemia in a nutritional manner.
One study found that certain brands of prenatal vitamins might be able to reduce constipation by up to 30%.
There are medications available to help with constipation, but generally as a last resort. These medications can particularly problematic in pregnancy and you would want to talk to your doctor or midwife before taking anythingeven if it is over the counter .
Does It Matter How Often I Use My Bowels
No. The timing of bowel movements varies quite a lot between different people from 3 bowel movements per day, to 1 bowel movement every 3 days. So if youre not having a movement every day, that doesnt necessarily mean there is a problem.
You are only constipated if you are having trouble with having a bowel movement, or you are not having a bowel movement as often as usual. You might also:
- pass hard stools
- pass only small amounts at a time
- feel blocked, or as though you have not completely emptied your bowels
If you are constipated, you are likely to feel uncomfortable, so it’s wise to find the cause and then do something about it.
Help Your Cat Maintain A Healthy Weight
Obesity causes intestinal inflammation, which causes things to slow down in the intestines. Too much water is then absorbed from the stool, causing constipation. In severe cases, theres so much fat in the belly that it physically impedes movement of stools. Your vet can help you figure out if your cat needs to lose weight and work with you to create a diet plan.
Common Causes Of Constipation
To understand how to prevent constipation, it helps to know what causes it. As food passes through your colon, your body absorbs the water from it, and what’s left forms into stool. Your muscles move it through the colon to the rectum, where you pass it. When this movement slows down, your colon draws too much water. Stools get dry and hard to pass, causing constipation.
The problem often happens because of a low-fiber or high-fat diet, lack of exercise, and not drinking enough fluids. Certain medications, not going when you feel the urge, laxative abuse, and pregnancy can also lead to constipation.
How To Stop & Avoid Keto Constipation
The keto diet is known for its countless health benefits like sustained energy, less cravings, and weight loss, but keto constipation is a common drawback for some beginners. This article will tell you everything you need to know about keto constipation, what causes it, how you can treat it, and even how you can prevent it.
Table of ContentsKeto Constipation in Summary
A Change In Fiber Intake
At the root of keto constipation, fiber intake is often to blame. Its not that youre eating too much fiber, or too little, but that youve made a sudden change in your fiber intake.
The Standard American Diet gets a large portion of its fiber from grains, and the keto diet is low-carb. See the problem? Your body takes a while to adjust to the fiber amount you are feeding it, so its not as easy as just adding more fiber into your diet and your poop problems will be solved. It is best to slowly change the amount of fiber in your diet rather than making dramatic changes.
You can try soluble fiber supplements if constipation remains an issue, or try adding in high-fiber vegetables and foods to create a diet you can sustain for the long haul.
How Is Constipation Treated
Most cases of mild to moderate constipation can be managed by you at home. Self-care starts by taking an inventory of what you eat and drink and then making changes.
Some recommendations to help relieve your constipation include:
- Drink two to four extra glasses of water a day. Avoid caffeine-containing drinks and alcohol, which can cause dehydration.
- Add fruits, vegetables whole grains and other high-fiber foods to your diet. Eat fewer high-fat foods, like meat, eggs and cheese.
- Eat prunes and/or bran cereal.
- Keep a food diary and single out foods that constipate you.
- Get moving, exercise.
- Check how you sit on the toilet. Raising your feet, leaning back or squatting may make having a bowel movement easier.
- Add an over-the-counter supplemental fiber to your diet .
- If needed, take a very mild over-the-counter stool softener or . Mineral oil enemas, like Fleet®, and stimulant laxatives, like bisacodyl or senna , are other options. There are many laxative choices. Ask your pharmacist or doctor for help in making a choice. Do not use laxatives for more than two weeks without calling your doctor. Overuse of laxatives can worsen your symptoms.
- Do not read, use your phone or other devices while trying to move your bowels.
A few prescription drugs are available to treat constipation. These include , prucalopride , , and . Your doctor will pick the drug that might work best for you based on the results of your tests.
Why Do Opioids Cause Constipation
Opioids have several different effects that slow down digestion. In the stomach, opioids can cause , which means that the stomach takes longer to empty than it should because the muscles are not working effectively.
Food moves through the small intestine because of muscle contractions known as . Opioids affect the middle of the small intestine by increasing circular muscle contractions, which are non-propulsive contractions, and this decreases the peristalsis that normally moves food along. This can also create harder stools, making them more difficult to pass.
Opioids also affect how the anal sphincter responds to the drug. When is in the rectum, there is a natural urge to go to the bathroom and pass it. Opioids can dampen this sensation so that when there is a stool to be passed, a person doesnt feel it. That could lead to holding stools in too long.
Overall, these effects on the digestive system mean that some people will experience constipation when using opioids. For people who need long-term pain management with these medications, this can be a significant problem.
Blood Pressure And Allergy Meds
- Constipation can be a side effect of some common drugs used to treat high blood pressure, such as calcium channel blockers and diuretics.
- Diuretics, for instance, lower blood pressure by increasing urine output, which flushes water from your system. However, water is needed to keep stools soft and get them out of the body.
- Antihistamines used to treat allergy symptoms can be a problem too.
Chronic diarrhea is a common symptom of both. However constipation can be a problem too.
In ulcerative colitis, constipation can be a sign of inflammation in the rectum and in Crohn’s disease it can be a sign of an obstruction in the small intestine. However if you have constipation alone, without other symptoms, it’s unlikely to be due to IBD.
- Constipation is common during pregnancy, but childbirth itself can be a problem, possibly due to sluggish abdominal muscles or perhaps the use of pain relievers or an anesthetic during the delivery.
- Also, “there may be some perineal soreness right after the delivery, so the fear of causing more discomfort may be an important factor in the constipation,” says Dr. Park.
- Although stretch injuries during childbirth can sometimes cause nerve damage that leads to constipation, this is less common.
What Causes Constipation In A Child
Stool gets hard and dry when the large intestine takes in too much water.
Normally, as food moves through the colon, the colon absorbs water while it makes stool. Muscle movements push the stool toward the rectum. When the stool gets to the rectum, most of the water has been soaked up. The stool is now solid.
If your child has constipation, the colon’s muscle movements are too slow. This makes the stool move through the colon too slowly. The colon absorbs too much water. The stool gets very hard and dry.
Once a child becomes constipated, the problem can quickly get worse. Hard, dry stools can be painful to push out. So the child may stop using the bathroom because it hurts. Over time, the colon will not be able to sense that stool is there.
There are many reasons why a child may become constipated. Some common diet and lifestyle causes include:
Increase Exercise And Enrichment
Exercise can help promote normal movement of the intestines, which helps treat and prevent constipation. Encourage your cat to be more active with things like cat toys, cat trees, window seats, and more playtime with you. Exercise will also help provide enrichment and reduce your cats anxiety, and it will help with weight loss.
Other Remedies For Constipation
Keep in mind that the bowels may need to be retrained. Here are some common rules to retrain the bowels:
- Figure out the cause of your constipation and make necessary changes. For example, stop over-using laxatives, or discover which medication is causing your constipation.
- Never hold in a bowel movement.
- Drink up to eight glasses of pure, filtered water daily.
- Set a specific time to defecate every day, such as after breakfast or after exercising.
- Maintain a regular exercise routine of 20 minutes a day, three times weekly.
Once youve followed these steps and have eaten the best foods for constipation relief, there are also other natural treatments for constipation:
- Supplements such as probiotics, magnesium, or digestive enzymes
- Herbal supplements like psyllium husks, aloe vera juice, fenugreek, gentian root, dandelion root, or the Ayurveda herb triphala
- Homeopathic remedies, including nux vomica, natrum muriaticum, sepia, lycopodium, calcarea carbonica, bryonia, alumina, sulphur, or silicea
- Effective essential oils for constipation may include cinnamon leaf, lovage, sweet fennel, sweet marjoram, nutmeg, bitter or sweet orange, cubebs, palmarosa, black pepper, yarrow, turmeric, or tarragon
Sometimes The Solution Is Simple
Most cases of acute constipation happen because you are noteating enough of the right foods , drinking enoughwater or getting enough exercise. So the fixes are simple: Move more, drinkmore water and add fiber to your diet to add bulkto your stool.
Some people have success taking , too, which can change the composition of the bacteria in the gut.
When Should I Call My Child’s Healthcare Provider
Is constipated for more than 2 weeks
Cant do normal activities because of constipation
Cant get a stool out with normal pushing
Has liquid or soft stool leaking out of the anus
Has small, painful tears in the skin around the anus
Has red, swollen veins in the rectum
Has belly pain, fever, or vomiting
Has changes in urination, weakness in the legs, or back pain
Causes Of Cat Constipation
Anything that causes in a cat may result in constipation, says Dr. Bales. Some issues are mild and treatable at home with dietary and lifestyle modifications, and some can be serious.
Constipation can happen if the intestines arent moving things along normally, keeping the stool soft and moist. This can be caused by underlying issues like stress and anxiety, inflammatory bowel disease, allergies, nerve problems, and even some kinds of cancer.
Chronic diseases that can result in constipation in cats include kidney disease, , and . Ruptured or impacted anal sacs may also cause your cat pain with defecation and may result in constipation. Cats eating dry food diets are predisposed to dehydration and constipation as well.
If a cat is holding her stool longer than normal, constipation can occur as the intestines reabsorb too much water when the stool sits in them for too long. Reasons for this include obesity, stress and anxiety, pain from arthritis or anal gland issues, a blockage, or even some kinds of cancer.
Q: Is Constipation Ever An Emergency
A: It can be, but most often is not.
It would be an emergency if you hadnt had a bowel movement for a prolonged time, and youre also experiencing major bloating or severe abdominal pain, notes Dr. Zutshi.
Slight symptoms will not take you to the emergency room. You should go to the emergency room if your symptoms are severe.
Other warningsigns to watch for are:
Take A Fiber Supplement
Fiber supplements are readily available and effective at inducing bowel movements if a low-fiber diet is the cause of your constipation. They work by adding bulk, or volume, to your stool. This helps push stool through your intestines and out of your body.
You can buy fiber supplements on . Here are a few common ones:
- calcium polycarvophil
Choose The Right Supplement
If you require an iron supplement, many kinds are available and most deliver more than the DV for iron. The most common form of iron supplements is derived from ferric iron salts, such as ferrous sulfate, and ferrous gluconate. However you are more likely to experience the side effect of constipation from iron supplements in this form.
Other forms of supplemental iron that are more gentle on the stomach may be a better choice for you. suggests supplements like:
- heme iron polypeptides
Read More:Types of Iron Supplements
When You Travel A Few Key Things Happen:
*Youre on the go all of the time. Probably even more so than when youre not on vacation. Often theres an agenda to do and see #allthethings you can. When youre constantly on the go, your body will feel unsettled and ungrounded, leading to excess air and space in your body.
*Youre not doing most of your regular routines. In fact, youre probably avoiding many of your regular routines. The lack of consistency and familiarity can make your body feel unstable and out of whack.
*Youre not eating as well as you usually do. Youre probably eating out more, snacking more, drinking less water, drinking more alcohol, eating more junky or processed food, and eating at weird times during the day. This makes your digestive system freak out a little .
*The act of traveling itself is uprooting. Whether youre flying or driving, your body isnt in physical contact with the earth. The elements of air and space are in control.
All of these things will lead to more vata than usual in your body. Your body will often respond by drying out and trying to hold onto whatever it can to protect that feeling of comfort, familiarity, and security. More often than not, this means your poop.
Since canceling your vacation isnt a good option, here are a few ways you can decrease vata and increase the other 2 doshas , which will help bring a little more consistency and grounding back to your body so you can enjoy your vacation instead of feeling gross, bloated, and blocked up.
When To See A Doctor About Constipation
If increasing fiber intake, exercise and hydration dont solve the problem, your constipation may be characterized as chronic. Depending on the cause of chronic constipation, you may need physical therapy or even low-dose laxatives to treat the problem.
If you have chronic constipation, its important to meet with a professional who can help guide you to the right kind of therapy, Lee says. This is especially true if you have any warning signs, like weight loss, bleeding or pain, or if your stool becomes pencil-thin and stays that way.
All things considered, Lee says you should see a doctor if constipation is something thats interfering with your daily life. At Johns Hopkins, the Womens Digestive Health Program focuses on issues such as this.
It feels terrible, and if its happening a lot, then you probably need to be seen, she says.
What Is An Enema Administration Used For
is a common gastrointestinal condition. It occurs when the colon is unable to remove waste through the rectum. People with this condition have three or fewer bowel movements over a seven-day period. Mild constipation often occurs when you dont eat enough fiber or drink enough water on a regular basis. Daily exercise also helps to prevent constipation.
An enema administration is most commonly used to clean the lower bowel. However, this is normally the last resort for constipation treatment. If diet and exercise are not enough to keep you regular, your doctor might recommend a laxative before trying an enema. In some cases, laxatives are used the night before an enema administration to encourage waste flow.
Enemas may also be used before medical examinations of the colon. Your doctor may order an enema prior to an X-ray of the colon to detect polyps so that they can get a clearer picture. This procedure may also be done prior to a colonoscopy.