Constipation is by definition a combination of 2 things or more of these symptoms more than ¼ of your time:
- Straining during a bowel movement
- Hard stools
- Incomplete evacuation
- Two or fewer bowel movements in a week
- Dietary causes
- Inadequate water intake
- Inadequate fiber intake
- Change of diet or routine (like traveling)
- Some medicines: like iron, some antacids, some tvhypertension medications and overuse of laxatives
- Sedentary life style: lack of walking or exercise.
- Resisting the urge to pass a motion; because of pain like in anal fissure or piles.
- Stress and depression.
- Some medical conditions like hypothyroidism (lazy thyroid gland) or pariknsonism.
- IBS: Irritable bowel syndrome.
- Colon cancer
The vast majority of causes of constipation are benign but you need to consult with your doctor if:
- Constipation is a new problem for you and lasted more than 2 weeks
- You have blood in stools
- You are losing weight although you are not dieting
- You have severe pain with bowel movements
How to manage simple constipation:
- Check and fix any diet changes that might have led to change of bowel habits.
- Also review any new medications with your doctor. Increase your fluid and fiber intake.
- Improve your physical fitness by exercise.
- You may use over the counter stool softeners for few days.
- If there is no improvement in 2 weeks give your doctor a visit.