How Can You Treat Constipation And Prevent It From Coming Back
Constipation can usually be treated on your own by doing one or several of the following, according to the NIDDK:
If you find that youre regularly dealing with constipation or its interrupting the quality of your life, Dr. Bedford says its time to seek medical care to try to find out whats going on.
To keep constipation from coming back, try to practice poop-friendly activities like loading up on fruits and vegetables, keeping a water bottle handy so you dont forget to drink, making time for daily physical activity, and trying to poop at the same time every day. If you can do this and you dont have an underlying health condition, you should be regular in no time.
Complementary And Alternative Remedies
Other possible therapies include acupuncture, massage, herbal remedies, and moxibustion, which involves stimulating acupuncture points with the herb mugwort.
One 2015 study concluded that acupuncture and herbal remedies may help, but that more evidence is needed to confirm the usefulness of these methods.
That being said, the use of herbal remedies is complex, and people should always speak to a doctor before trying anything new, as they can have adverse effects.
Anyone who has concerns about constipation should speak to their doctor.
Treatment For Constipation In Elderly People
Managing constipation in the elderly is crucial. To begin treating chronic constipation, your doctor should first diagnose all underlying conditions that cause it and treat them properly. They should also revise all medications to identify and find substitutes for those causing constipation, if possible. Then, you can implement other lifestyle changes, drugs, procedures, and home remedies for constipation in elderly people.
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How Is Malrotation Treated
Malrotation is considered an emergency situation and the development of volvulus is considered a life-threatening condition. Surgery is required to fix the problem.
- Your baby will be started on IV fluids to prevent dehydration. Your baby will receive antibiotics to prevent infection, and sedation so your baby sleeps through the procedure.
- First, the surgeon untwists the babys intestine and checks it for damage. If the intestine is healthy, its then replaced in the abdomen.
- If the blood supply to the intestine is in question, the intestine may be untwisted and placed back into the abdomen.
- Your surgeon performs another operation within 24 to 48 hours to check the health of your babys intestine. If it appears that the intestine has been damaged, the injured section may be removed.
For cases in which there is a large section of intestine that is damaged, a significant amount of intestine may be removed. When this occurs, the remaining parts of the intestine may not be able to be attached to each other surgically.
To correct this, a colostomy may be done to enable the digestive process to continue. With a colostomy, the two remaining healthy ends of intestine are brought through openings in the abdomen. Stool will pass through the opening and then into a collection bag. The colostomy may be temporary or permanent, depending on the amount of intestine that needed to be removed.
When Should I Call My Doctor
- Constipation is a new problem for you.
- You see blood in your stool.
- You are losing weight unintentionally.
- You have severe pain with bowel movements.
- Your constipation has lasted more than three weeks.
- You have symptoms of outlet dysfunction constipation.
Remember, talk openly and honestly with your doctor about your bowel movements and any questions or concerns you may have. Pooping is something we all should be doing. Constipation may be a temporary situation, a long-term problem or a sign of a more serious condition. Be safe. See your doctor, especially if youve noticed a change in your bowel pattern or if your life is being ruled by your bowels.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 11/07/2019.
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How Is Constipation Diagnosed
The tests performed by a doctor will depend on the duration and severity of the constipation, since most persons experience constipation at one time or another. The doctor will also take into account the patient’s age, and whether there is blood in the stool, recent changes in bowel habits, or weight loss.
Diagnosing constipation may include:
Medical history. The doctor will ask for a description of the constipation, including duration of symptoms, frequency of bowel movements, and other information to help determine the cause of the constipation.
Physical examination. A physical examination may also include a digital rectal examination , in which the doctor inserts a gloved, lubricated finger into the rectum to evaluate the tone of the muscle that closes off the anus. This examination also helps detect tenderness, obstruction, blood, amount and caliber of stool, and if enlargement of the rectum is present.
Other diagnostic tests may include:
How Is A Large Bowel Obstruction Diagnosed
Your healthcare provider will perform a physical exam to check for a swollen abdomen or masses. Usually, the stomach isnt tender to touch.
Your healthcare provider will use a stethoscope to listen to the intestines. Loud or high-pitched bowel sounds or a quiet bowel may indicate a problem.
Your provider may order these tests:
- Blood tests: A blood test checks for signs of infection and dehydration.
- X-rays: Abdominal X-rays can show a bowel blockages location. These images can also show air around the intestine or diaphragm . Air in these places can indicate a dead bowel or rupture.
- CT scan: If x-rays reveal a problem, your provider may perform a CT scan. This imaging procedure provides more detailed photos than x-rays.
- Barium enema x-ray: A barium enema x-ray is a lower gastrointestinal exam. While you are sedated with anesthesia, a provider inserts a catheter into the anus. The catheter fills the intestine with a safe, white barium liquid. This liquid travels through the intestine while a machine takes x-rays.
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What Side Effects May I Notice From Receiving This Medicine
Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
- allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
- feeling faint or lightheaded, falls
- new or worsening stomach pain
- severe or prolonged diarrhea
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention :
- loose stools
This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
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.
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What Are The Types Of Iron Supplements Out There On The Market
Pills that contain iron are usually in ferrous form. There are three subcategories of ferrous iron that are sold on the market today: ferrous fumarate, ferrous gluconate, and ferrous sulfate.
When choosing any of these iron supplements its important to look at the elemental iron in each individual serving. Most iron supplements in the ferrous form are sold as a pill. Iron supplements are also available in capsules, drops, and liquids, coated and extended-release capsules.
Tablets and pills are better absorbed and cheaper as well. For adults who have trouble swallowing the pill form and also for children, the liquid form of iron supplements can be useful.
Coated tablets or extended-release capsules have fewer and less severe side effects. However, this form of iron supplement is not absorbed as well in the bloodstream.
Ascorbic acid or vitamin C can help iron be absorbed better. Iron acts better in an acidic/low pH environment.
Iron supplements are great to incorporate in your diet if you are deficient of this important mineral.
Complications Of Chronic Constipation In The Elderly
If left untreated for a long time, constipation can lead to several complications, including:
- Fecal impaction : The longer it stays in the colon, the drier and harder the stool gets. Eventually, it gets stuck and becomes impossible to evacuate without treatment.
- Hemorrhoids : Long-term straining during defecation can lead to hemorrhoids, which can also further become complicated by bleeding.
- Anal fissures : Large and hard stools can even lead to tears in the anus.
- Rectal prolapse : One of the most severe complications can occur when the rectum protrudes outside due to straining.
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Further Help For Constipation
You will find further information about causes and how its diagnosed on our Constipation information sheet.
If you are concerned about your problem and it is starting to affect your day to day life make an appointment to see your doctor, continence nurse or specialist physiotherapist. A continence nurse and specialist physiotherapist are healthcare professionals who specialise in bladder and bowel problems.
What Is Postpartum Constipation
Constipation is common after giving birth. Characterized by difficult or infrequent bowel movements, many people experience constipation during pregnancy, and it can continue after delivery, or it may occur for the first time after delivery. Generally, constipation is defined as fewer than three bowel movements a week and/or less often than your normal bathroom habits. This condition may persist for a week or longer until your body’s elimination system gets back on track.
People who did not have an issue with constipation during their pregnancy might be surprised to develop it after. On the other hand, for someone who has had bowel woes in the past or dealt with them while they were pregnant, constipation may continue or worsen right after giving birth.
Whether the experience is new to you or not, constipation is uncomfortableespecially when your body is still trying to heal from labor and delivery. Postpartum constipation can happen for several reasons. Understanding them can help you find the best treatment and get relief.
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Can You Stomach It The Vicious Cycle Of Anemia And Iron Supplements
Taking many of todays available oral iron supplements can make you feel as if you have swallowed a brick. The side effects can be so unpleasant that you stop taking them altogether and begin a vicious cycle of spiraling iron levels and unused products. With our innovative new iron supplement Ferritin Boost, the ironology team aims to break that cycle with a formulation that offers optimal absorption without the unpleasant stomach issues.
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When To See A Doctor About Constipation
If increasing fiber intake, exercise and hydration don’t 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.
For chronic constipation, it’s important to meet with a professional who can help guide you to the right kind of therapy. This is especially important if you have any warning signs of disease, such as weight loss, bleeding or pain, or stools that become pencil-thin and stay that way.
All things considered, you should see a doctor if constipation or any other physical discomfort is interfering with your daily life.
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What Is Constipation Symptoms Causes Diagnosis Treatment And Prevention
Constipation is the most common gastrointestinal complaint, resulting in 2.5 million doctor visits annually. Generally, a person is considered constipated when they have fewer than three bowel movements a week, or their stool is difficult to pass. In total, about 16 percent of the population experience constipation symptoms, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases .
While constipation is uncomfortable , its considered a symptom rather than a disease in itself.
Its also important to know that normal bowel habits can differ from person to person some people may pass stool three times a day others three times a week.
Which Foods Bind Stool And Cause Constipation
Quince, pomegranate seeds, blueberry, acorn, raspberry, cranberry, persimmon, barberry, jujube, apple, broccoli, potato, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, cilantro, coriander, green peas, green beans, mint, mint tea, fava bean, lentil, split pea, kidney bean, mung bean, garbanzo bean, ginger, ginger tea, sumac, rice, white wheat flour, cheese, yogurt, barley.
- A lot of the people who are suffering from constipation and have a cold constitution drink ginger tea in order to kindle their digestive fire and increase the fire element in their body But did you know that ginger tea is a strong remedy for diarrhea?!
- Ginger is a strong herb that scrapes and cleanses the mucus in colon so it can be a good short term remedy for Kapha constipation. However, it you consume it routinely and daily, it will dry up the mucus membrane of your colon and can cause chronic constipation!
- In general it is better to use ginger as a short term remedy for diseases such as flu, diarrhea, etc. Avoid consuming ginger tea on a daily basis especially if your Vata or Pitta is aggravated!
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Constipation In Adults Prevention
- Develop regular bowel habits. Set aside time before or after breakfast to use the toilet.
- Do not ignore the desire to defecate. Answer nature’s call to empty your bowel as soon as possible.
- Eat a well-balanced diet that includes wheat grains, fresh fruits, and vegetables. Recent evidence suggests that increasing dietary fiber intake may help some people with hard stools, but is not necessarily of benefit in every person with constipation.
- Drink plenty of water and fruit juice.
- Exercise regularly. Walking is especially important.
- Avoid intake of medications that may cause constipation. Discuss the medications and OTC products you current take with your doctor or pharmacist.
- The use of laxatives can make a constipation problem worse in the long-term and should be avoided.
Which Foods Are Highest In Iron
Most people do not need iron supplements if they maintain a healthy, balanced diet. Rather than reaching for a pill, start by adding iron-rich foods to your meal plan, the highest of which include:
- Iron-fortified breakfast cereals: 18 mg per cup
- Oysters: 8 mg per 3-ounce serving
- White beans : 8 mg per cup
- Dark chocolate: 7 mg per 3-ounce serving
- Beef liver: 5 mg per 3-ounce serving
- Lentils : 3 mg per ½ cup serving
- Spinach : 3 mg per ½ cup serving
- Tofu: 3 mg per ½ cup serving
- Kidney beans : 2 mg per ½ cup serving
- Canned sardines in oil: 2 mg per ½ cup serving
- Chickpeas : 2 mg per ½ cup serving
- Stewed tomatoes: 2 mg per ½ cup serving
- Braised bottom round beef: 2 mg per 3-ounce serving
- Baked potatoes: 1 mg per medium-sized potato
- Cashews: 1 mg per 1-ounce serving
- Green beans : 1 mg per ½ cup serving
- Roast chicken: 1 mg per 3-ounce serving
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Is This Cause For Concern
There are a number of reasons why you could be constipated, and one of them is your changing hormones.
You may find that youre constipated before some periods and not others. Either way, its completely normal to have this and other digestive issues before or after your period.
Read on to find out why you may get constipated before your period, ways to find relief, and when to see a doctor.
Your menstrual cycle is the result of continued adjustments in your bodys estrogen and progesterone levels.
Not only do these hormones affect when you ovulate, they can also impact your digestive habits.
Some experts think that an increase in progesterone can lead to constipation. This usually occurs when you ovulate or a few days after.
Other experts think higher estrogen levels may lead to constipation. For example, researchers in one 2013 study studied the effects of estrogen and progesterone on female and male mice to determine if the hormones caused constipation.
At the studys end, the researchers didnt observe an impact on bowel movements from progesterone. However, they found that higher levels of estrogen slowed intestinal movement and caused constipation. Its important to note that this was an animal study. More research in humans is needed to determine if estrogen is a factor in constipation.
Regardless of the hormone that causes period-related constipation, most people find their symptoms get better after they start their period and these hormone levels start to go down.
Complications Of Chronic Constipation
Some of the complications of chronic constipation include:
- Faecal impaction the lower bowel and rectum become so packed with faeces that the muscles of the bowels cant push any of it out.
- Faecal incontinence an overfull bowel can result in involuntary dribbling of diarrhoea.
- Haemorrhoids constant straining to open the bowel can damage the blood vessels of the rectum.
- Rectal prolapse the constant straining pushes a section of rectal lining out of the anus.
- Urinary incontinence the constant straining weakens pelvic floor muscles. This makes the involuntary passing of urine more likely, especially when coughing, laughing or sneezing.
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