The symptoms of Constipation can vary from person to person in the same way that everybody has different bowel habits. Typically, a healthy person will empty their bowels at least once a day however when people are constipated, this can be difficult!
The most common symptoms of Constipation are:
- Not being able to open your bowels because your stool is dry, hard or lumpy.
- They may also be abnormally large or abnormally small.
Sometimes you may experience the following symptoms as well:
- Stomach ache
- Feeling sick
- Loss of appetite
It is not uncommon to experience one or all of the symptoms depending on the individual.
What causes Constipation?
Most cases of constipation are not related to a medical condition; however there are factors that may make a person more likely to be constipated.
- Constipation may occur when not enough fibre is being consumed. This includes sources of fibre such as fruit, cereal and vegetables.
- A sudden change in lifestyle may also affect your bowel habits particularly when eating habits are adjusted e.g. starting a diet.
- It is important that people are given privacy when using the toilet, when given limited privacy it may make it harder to pass stools.
- When your body tells you to go to the toilet, it is imperative that you listen to its needs. By ignoring such urges, you may be prone to constipation.
- To keep the inside of your body moving properly, it is essential that you keep the outside moving by doing exercise – as little or as much as is healthy for you. Failure to do so may cause your bowels to stop working correctly.
- Not drinking enough water to keep your body hydrated.
- If you are overweight/underweight your body can not perform to its full potential, this also effects constipation.
- If you suffer from anxiety or depression – you may also experience some discomfort. Also, some anti-depressants and medicines can cause constipation.
- Pregnant women are also prone to the condition in the early stages of their pregnancy.
What can i do, are there any cures?
There are a few things people can do to relieve their discomfort, including;
Increasing your intake of foods such as wheat, fruit and cereal, which are all good sources of fibre. You may also want to include a prebiotic fibre supplement in your diet such as Bimuno– which can help to ensure your body is flowing as it should be.
Try to drink around 6-8 glasses of water each day. Not only will this mean you’re hydrated, but it can also help to get you flowing properly again.
Regular exercise will also help to wake up your body and assist bowel movements.
Going to the toilet is a natural body process, so it is important that nature’s course is followed and when felt, the urge is not ignored!
If any of the above lifestyle adjustments do not improve the body’s flow, a GP may prescribe laxatives. A laxative is a medicine which helps the bowels to work correctly. There are different forms of laxative and different ones may be prescribed for different individuals depending on their symptoms, lifestyle and maybe any other medical condition that may be coinciding with the Constipation.
If symptoms persist or you have evidence of blood in your stool you should consult your doctor.