Prevention And Treatment Options
Fortunately, there are many treatment options for this common childhood condition. After a thorough and gentle examination, one of our experienced board-certified pediatric gastroenterologists will recommend the best and most effective treatment option for your child. Treatment options can include the following.
When Is Necessary To Consult Doctor
If you feel tired all the time and they can give you medicine to help you relax your nerves.
If you feel like you are having trouble concentrating. You should contact a doctor and see if there is anything that can be done for your brain.
Falling asleep often is also a worrying sign, you should see a doctor because it could be an infection in your pelvic area.
A lot of pain in your abdomen, this could be a sign that you have a severe infection.
Unusually long or painful bowel movement, this could mean that you are not able to get enough liquid, and this could mean that you have constipation.
These are just some of the symptoms you should look out for and see a doctor see if you should go to the hospital.
When Should I See My Doctor
Commonly, diet and lifestyle factors cause or contribute to constipation. However, in some cases there may be an underlying problem.
Occasionally, constipation can be a sign of an underlying condition such as bowel cancer. In such cases, there are likely to be other symptoms. These may include a recent change in bowel habits, weight loss, bleeding from the rectum or blood in stools, or abdominal pain, cramping or bloating.
If you have any of these symptoms, see your doctor. Also see your doctor if you have severe constipation or constipation that is not getting better with simple lifestyle changes.
To make the diagnosis, your doctor will ask you about:
- any medical conditions you have
- medicines you are taking
Your doctor may also do a physical examination. This may include:
- feeling your abdominal area
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The Bottom Line On Constipation
Beyond performing a physical and obtaining your medical history, a healthcare provider may also order tests to see if there is an underlying condition causing your constipation, said Dr. Bedford. Those conditions may include diabetes, hypothyroidism, or anemia.
Depending on your age, after you completely pass the impacted stool, the healthcare provider may suggest a colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy, added Dr. Bedford. Those procedures use small tools that have cameras to observe your colon closely. Meanwhile, they might indicate an enema or laxative to soften your stool and help you have a bowel movement.
But even if your constipation does not cause severe symptoms indicative of an emergency, you should not ignore it.
“There’s no such thing as normal constipation,” Dr. Bedford said. “Constipation in itself is an abnormal condition, which you should do whatever you need to do to avoid.”
When To Go To Urgent Care For Constipation
When to go to Urgent Care for Constipation
If youre having mild constipation, avoid self-treatment and try drinking plenty of fluids , eating high-fiber foods, and making sure you have regular bowel movements. If your symptoms persist or get worse, consider an over-the-counter laxative, such as Senokot. For severe constipationyou havent had a bowel movement in three daysor any time you feel like theres something in your rectum that shouldnt be there, go to urgent care immediately. You might have appendicitis or another serious issue that needs immediate attention from a medical professional.
If youve been experiencing constipation and you have a history of bowel problems, then your symptoms may be caused by something more serious. Its important to see a doctor if youre suffering from constipation. Your symptoms could also be signs of irritable bowel syndrome , diverticulitis, or a number of other problems that need attention from a professional ASAP. If your severe constipation doesnt start clearing up with over-the-counter treatments in 24 hours, then its time to call your doctor and schedule an appointment at urgent care for further evaluation.
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Understanding The Gut Microbiome
Dr. Rezaie says one cause of constipation is an imbalance in the gut microbiome. The microbiome is a term used to describe the bacteria, fungi and viruses that live inside our bowels.
In the gut, a type of microorganisms called methanogens can slow down gut motility, which can cause constipation.
“An overgrowth of this type of microbe is essentially an imbalance of the gut microbiome, which can lead to these constipation symptoms,” Dr. Rezaie says.
“By manipulating methanogens, we can improve gut transitions and improve constipation.”
Read: How to Relieve and Avoid Constipation Naturally
With That Said Heres When To See A Doctor For Constipation
You shouldnt hesitate to seek medical care any time youre concerned, but doctors say there are certain times when constipation definitely requires a professionals input. The following are signs youre dealing with chronic constipation or otherwise severe constipation:
Normal poop schedules vary by person. For some people its going every day, for others its every three days, and some are in between, Dr. Bedford says. If you normally go pretty frequently and suddenly havent gone for longer than a week, its time to call your doctor, says Dr. Staller. This could be a sign of something like fecal impaction, which happens when hardened poop accumulates and gets stuck in your intestines, and which a medical provider may need to remove manually.
Constipation can cause pain because the poop builds up in your colon and stretches it, Dr. Lee says. Thats not something you should have to live with. Even if youve only been backed up for a few days, pain with constipation that wont go away is definitely a reason to call your doctor, says Dr. Lee. They may be able to recommend something like a laxative that makes it easier to go.
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Check If It’s Constipation
It’s likely to be constipation if:
- you have not had a poo at least 3 times during the last week
- the poo is often large and dry, hard or lumpy
- you are straining or in pain when you have a poo
You may also have a stomach ache and feel bloated or sick.
If you’re caring for someone with dementia, constipation may be easily missed. Look out for any behaviour changes, as it might mean they are in pain or discomfort.
What Causes Constipation
The cause of chronic constipation is usually a combination of factors.
“Everyone is different, and genetics may play a role in chronic constipation as well as how quickly one’s intestines naturally moveand even diet and activity levels,” says Dr. Christopher Almario, a gastroenterologist with the Digestive & Liver Diseases Program at Cedars-Sinai who was also the corresponding author on the constipation study.
Both Dr. Almario and Dr. Rezaie say that the frequency of a person’s bowel movements can vary widely, depending on the individual.
Dr. Christopher Almario
“Sometimes patients are referred to me because they only have a bowel movement once a week, but it doesn’t bother them at all,” Dr. Almario says.
“On the other hand, someone can feel constipated and have a bowel movement seven times a day. Constipation is about much more than how many times you go in a day or a week.”
For example, those with constipation may strain a lot or feel there is still stool in the rectum even after having a bowel movement, Dr. Almario says.
Read: Healthy Bowel Movements: Why You Should Pay Attention to Your Poop
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Get To Know Constipation
In general perception, constipation might refer to some abnormal bowel movements such as absence of stool, reduced frequency in defecation, and hard stools which are difficult to pass. Not only these abnormal conditions, constipation also includes one of these manifestations:
- Having lumpy or hard stools.
- Passing fewer than three stools per week.
- Difficult stool passage defined as needing help or longer time to empty the rectum.
- Straining to have bowel movements which might be presented with bloody stool.
- Feeling that rectum is not completely empty after bowel movement.
Constipation has been frequently found in women rather men. It can actually happen at any age groups, with more incidences in working age.
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 To Fix Constipation
Constipation is typically only temporary and can be remedied by making a few simple lifestyle changes. A diet with lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, fiber, and plenty of water can help keep you from becoming constipated . In addition, regular exercise, proactively managing stress and anxiety, and creating a regular schedule for bowel movements can help keep things moving.
Constipation: Child Over One Year Of Age
Constipation is common in children but can worry parents. A constipated child has problems moving their bowels , do not have BMs often enough, or the stool is hard or dry. It is rarely caused by a medical condition that the child was born with or by a problem digesting food.
- Common causes are:
- no regular habit of having a bowel movement
- starting toilet training too early
- holding the poop in. A child holds the poop in because they are afraid it will hurt to have a BM. It may be too large, too wide or too painful to push out.
- put off pooping. A child may be too busy playing and not want to stop.
- change in activity or daily routine
- certain medicines
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When To See Your Doctor
You should see your doctor if:
- you have constipation for a week or more after a normal bowel motion
- there is blood or slime in your motions, or alternating diarrhoea and constipation
- you also have abdominal pain or bloating
- youre still constipated after changing your diet or trying other remedies
- you are losing weight without trying.
Call Healthline if youre unsure what you should do.
When Should You Go To The Hospital For Constipation
This article is here to give you a detailed answer on When should you go to the hospital for constipation?. When constipation is left untreated for a long time, the symptoms can start to appear.
One of the most common symptoms of constipation is pain in the pelvic region. If you do not know what it feels like, you can take a warm bath, and the pain will be gone in a matter of minutes. But if you feel a lot of pain, and your doctor suspects that you have hemorrhoids, you need to go to the hospital as soon as possible.
The pain can be from the piles getting inflamed, which means that they are irritated and swollen. If you have this type of pain, it may feel like a burning, crawling sensation, or it may be that the pain radiates up from the pelvic area to the back of your chest.
Another sign that you should go to the hospital is when you get a fever. You should get a fever only if you have an infection in your pelvic area. The infection could come from the piles or other sources such as bacteria, virus, or fungus. If your infection is so severe that you are bleeding, you should go to the hospital right away.
In addition to these symptoms, you should also experience less than average amounts of bowel movements. Your bowel movements should be more than a few times a week. If your bowel movements are not regular, this mean that the piles are not inflamed, and you need to see your doctor.
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If Your Constipation Is Of The Occasional Variety There Are A Few Things You Can Try Before Looping In A Professional
Eating enough fruits, vegetables, and whole grains should be your first line of defense, Rudolph Bedford, M.D., a gastroenterologist at Providence Saint Johns Health Center in Santa Monica, Calif., tells SELF. These foods contain fiber, which helps to keep your stool soft and easier to pass, according to the NIDDK. Women under 50 should try to get at least 25 grams of fiber per day, according to the Institute of Medicine. Fiber cant do its job without sufficient liquid, though, so make sure youre drinking enough water every day.
You can also make it a point to avoid constipation-causing foods for a bit, especially if youve been eating them a lot lately. Some of the biggest culprits include cheese , white rice , and green bananas , Christine Lee, M.D., a gastroenterologist at the Cleveland Clinic, tells SELF.
If youre not already, being active is another way to get things moving. Exercise helps increase the motility in your colon and encourages regular bowel movements, Dr. Staller says.
In general, its also important to actually go when your body is telling you to, Dr. Staller says. Your GI tract has a circadian rhythm it likes to follow, which is why you probably feel the urge to go at certain times and not others . Many people neglect their bodys call to defecate, and that can lead to constipation, especially if the call is ignored again and again over time, Dr. Staller says.
What Happens During An Exam
Your doctor will probably ask for a medical history. They will ask questions about your constipation, including:
- When your constipation started
- Your family and personal history of colon cancer or digestive problems such as irritable bowel syndrome
- What medicines you’re taking
These questions may sound personal, but they’re the only way your doctor can learn why you’re constipated and find the best constipation treatment for you.
Don’t be embarrassed or afraid to also ask your doctor questions, such as:
- How often should I go to the bathroom?
- How much fluid should I drink each day?
- How much fiber do I need to eat?
- Which type of laxative will help my constipation while causing the fewest side effects?
- How soon should my constipation improve?
- Do I need to see a gastroenterologist?
- When should I make an appointment to see you again?
Sometimes, your doctor may recommend that you have tests such as a barium enema X-ray, sigmoidoscopy, or colonoscopy. These diagnostic tests allow your doctor to look for problems in your intestines, colon, and rectum.
Once the cause of your constipation has been determined, your doctor will discuss treatments with you. Common constipation treatments include adding more fiber to your diet and taking laxatives.
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Bleeding In The Stool
Bleeding from the diverticula may occur with or without acute diverticulitis.
Bleeding from the diverticular can take several forms:
- Blood mixed with the stool.
- Frank bleeding per rectum.
- Blood mixed with mucus.
- Rarely, black stool or black spots on the stool.
Go to the hospital if you experience bleeding per rectum, even if you dont have other symptoms and signs of acute diverticulitis.
The amount of bleeding is important frank bleeding of a large amount of blood from the rectum requires urgent medical attention.
Also, if you experience slight bleeding per rectum for more extended periods may cause significant anemia in the long run.
If you see a small amount of bleed in your stool for several days or weeks, go to the hospital.
Signs Of Low Blood Pressure
Low blood pressure is a rare complication of acute diverticulitis. Different mechanisms may cause such a condition:
- Hypovolemic shock due to massive bleeding from the diverticula.
The symptoms of low blood pressure that require going to the hospital include:
- Severe dizziness and lightheadedness.
- Bluish tinge to the lips and fingernails.
- Confusion or coma in late cases.
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Constipation In Young Children
Children with constipation will usually pass hard poos, like sheep pellets, and this will often be painful.
They may hold on, cross legs, run around or refuse to go to the toilet because it is painful to pass a hard poo. This results in further drying out of the poo as it sits in your childs bowel, resulting in a vicious cycle.
They may also have a tummy pain that comes and goes.
Sometimes chronic constipation in children can lead to overflow of loose poos which looks like diarrhoea.
Constipation in children that is persistent will usually require assessment by your family doctor and over-the-counter laxatives should be avoided.
If you have questions about your childs bowel motions, call PlunketLine on .
What Helps Constipation: Treatment At Home
If you experience difficulty having a bowel movement, its usually safe to try constipation home remedies before seeing a doctor. The following remedies are for otherwise healthy adults with constipation. Home remedies for children with constipation are different. Ask your pediatrician or a pediatric nurse for specific instructions on what to try at home.
1. For the first couple of days, try either of these two options:
Drink prune juice
Take a stool softener, such as docusate sodium according to the label instructions
2. If no improvement, escalate to either of these two options:
Take a fiber-based laxative that mixes with water, such as psyllium
Take an osmotic laxative, such as polyethylene glycol or milk of magnesia
3. If the gentler laxatives above do not work, try one of the following options one time only:
Use a glycerin suppository according to the package instructions
Use an enema, such as Fleet
4. Only if the above remedies do not provide relief:
Try a stimulant laxative, such as Correctol or Dulcolax
The best constipation treatment is prevention. To reduce your risk of future episodes of constipation, be sure to eat a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, drink plenty of water , and exercise regularly. Walking is an excellent way to keep your colon working well.
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