CONSTIPATION: SIGNS, SYMPTOMS, AND TREATMENT

CONSTIPATION SIGNS AND TREATMENT. To different people, constipation means different things. To some, all it means is infrequent stooling but to some others, it means hard stools which are difficult to pass thereby making them strain or the sense of not completely emptying their bowels after stooling.

What causes each type for each person is likely different which means the way you approach the treatment should be specific to the kind of constipation it is. Interestingly, for some people, constipation alternates with diarrhea, a phenomenon that is commonly seen with irritable bowel syndrome IBS. On the other hand, you may experience what is known as fecal impaction where your stool hardens so much that it doesn’t allow any other feces to pass in the rectum.

Also as you age, the quantity of bowel movement generally reduces and you’ll find that the normal number to times an adult has bowel movement ranges between 3 and 21 times each week. Meaning at least 1 bowel movement per day, though this happens in less than 50% of adults. Not to mention many people don’t go to the toilet every day or have the same number of toilet trips each day.CONSTIPATION SIGNS AND TREATMENT.

Scientifically speaking, constipation is defined by less than 3 toilet trips per week while severe constipation is known by less than 1 toilet trip in a week.

Here are some fun facts about constipation:

  • It generally happens because way too much water gets absorbed from the food you eat.
  • Some of the causes include some medications, aging and physical inactivity.
  • Some types are relieved by changes in lifestyle.
  • As a last resort, laxatives should be used.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

You may already know the most common symptoms of constipation which are straining when stooling, increased difficulty of stooling and lesser than usual bowel movement. However, there are other symptoms to look out for, such as:

Vomiting

One huge sign that you have constipation brewing inside you is when you start vomiting. Most times when a person is unable to regularly empty their bowels, they start vomiting. This is because your body always tries to find a way to empty itself out, and when it isn’t coming out from the usual place, it has to come out from somewhere. Right?

You’d be surprised at how common vomiting is as a sign of constipation and its advisable to seek medical treatment if becomes too severe. Besides if you’ve been vomiting for a day or more, you get dehydrated much quicker so make sure you drink lots of water and electrolytes if this happens.

Feeling Bloated

If there are internal plumbing issues going on for days or even weeks at a time, you’ll definitely start feeling it on the outside real quick. If your clothes start to feel a bit close-fitting along with not being able to poop regularly, chances are that you are bloated and chances are that you are constipated.CONSTIPATION SIGNS AND TREATMENT.

Now when this happens, your first instinct is to reduce the amount of food and drinks you consume.

But as weird as this may sound, you should actually drink more water and fluids when you feel bloated because the more you drink, the faster the bloating reduces.

Lower Back Pain

Back pain, otherwise known as flank pain occurs when the sides of your abdomen become sore and can be another symptom of constipation. You may also feel a sharp or throbbing pain in your lower back that can last from a few minutes to a few hours.

These kinds of pain are often symptoms of constipation especially chronic constipation that has lasted weeks. The back pain usually starts after one week of not using the toilet and is as a result of the fullness of the stool trying to find space in your body. If the pain can’t be attributed to any other condition and it doesn’t go away, speak to your doctor.

Stomach Pain

Many people assume that if you are having abdominal aches of any kind, it is a reflection of something you ate that didn’t sit well with you. But funny thing, it can actually be a symptom of constipation and some people have reported that their stomach aches are so severe that it disrupts their daily lifestyle so much that they require pain meds.

Some people have realized that drinking plenty of water and staying hydrated can help with the pain from constipation but at the end of the day you need to take care of your bowels and not just the single symptom.

Being Unable to Completely Clear Out your Bowels

Maybe you are wondering how this is related to constipation but it is a very common and problematic symptom for lots of people. You might still be pooping daily or regularly but still, have the feeling that your bowels are not completely empty.

Those living with chronic constipation have reported that when they do to the toilet, it still isn’t anywhere close to what they should be excreting daily. If this happens only happens once in a while, there’s no need to worry but if it continues to happen, chances are that you are constipated.

TREATMENT

To treat many of the symptoms of constipation, first take the following steps:

  • Try to drink at least 2 to 4 more cups of water each day unless your doctor limits your fluid intake for another reason.
  • Try to drink warm liquids often especially in the mornings
  • Try to consume more fibers from cereals for example.
  • Get a bit more exercise as often as possible during the week. The more physically active you are, the more the muscles of your intestines stay active too.
  • Never ignore your urge to use the toilet. Don’t hold it in.
  • Have a regular routine for when you use the toilet.
  • Try to elevate your feet.
  • Lastly, you can take laxatives, each of which works in different ways for different types of constipation. Speaking to your pharmacist or doctor would determine what type works for you and the duration of use.

CONSTIPATION TYPES AND TREATMENT.


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