If you have constipation, you have difficulty bumping and it can also hurt. Often it is enough to drink more fluid and to eat more fiber rich foods. There are also medicines you can use that make the pelvis softer or prevent the constipation.
Symptoms of constipation
How often you need poop differs between people. Some go to the toilet a couple of times a week, others a few times a day.
If you are constipated, you have a hard time bumping, even though you want to. Other symptoms are:
- The buoy is hard and sluggish.
- You may get pain in the rectum when you poop.
- It may feel like the gut has not been emptied after you have been in the toilet.
- The stomach feels stretched.
- You have a stomach ache.
If you have been constipated for a long time you may feel nauseated and do not want to eat. You can also get cracks in the rectum which causes it to bleed a little.
Children often get constipation. A common symptom is that the baby has a stomach ache, but it can sometimes be difficult to understand that the baby’s stomach is due to constipation.
When and where should I seek care?
If you are temporarily constipated you can ask for advice at a pharmacy or at a health center.
If you are constipated and have one or more of the symptoms below, contact a health care provider:
- The trouble does not go over even though you have tried to treat yourself.
- You lose weight.
- You have blood in the poo.
- You have a lot of stomach ache.
Also, contact a health care center if your bowel habits have changed without understanding why. This is especially true if you are 45 years of age or older. How the stool habits change can be different:
- You often get hard in the stomach, from having previously had no constipation problems.
- The texture and appearance of the buoy changes and you are hard and loose in your stomach for periods.
You can seek care at any healthcare center you want throughout the country.
What is it?
Most people get occasional constipation from time to time. You may get temporary constipation for a variety of reasons:
- If you travel or change environment.
- If you are stressed or worried.
- If you change your eating habits.
- If you have a lot of sedentary activities, such as sitting a lot at work or at school.
- If you get sick and need to be in bed.
Too little liquid and fiber
Many times a temporary constipation is caused by drinking too little fluid, or eating too little fiber. Examples of foods with a little fiber are white rice and food products with a lot of white flour, such as pasta and light bread. But even if you eat a lot of fiber, you may get constipation if you do not drink enough fluid.
It is common to become constipated during a pregnancy or before menstruation. It is probably due to hormonal changes.
Medicines can cause constipation
Some drugs may cause constipation. Here is a list of some medicines that can cause constipation:
- some medicines for mental illness
- anti hypertensive drugs, so-called calcium flow inhibitors
- some drugs used in sensitive stomachs, called antacids.
Obstacles in the rectum and cracks in the rectum opening
Sometimes an obstacle in the rectum can make it difficult to poop, for example if the intestinal contents have become a hard lump in the rectum. You can then get cracks in the rectum opening that can hurt.
Being hurt can make you want to go to the bathroom, even if you feel you need to. Not pooping when you need can cause you to become more constipated.
May be due to illness
Constipation is usually harmless, but can sometimes be a sign of a disease. For example, you may start to have constipation problems that you do not recognize.
One disease that can cause constipation is IBS. You have had periods of constipation and diarrhea for several years. IBS is an abbreviation of English’s irritable bowel syndrome, and means roughly palpable or hypersensitive bowel.
What can I do for myself?
Many times, temporary constipation depends on what you eat and on your habits. You can often reduce constipation yourself.
Try to drink enough fluid, for example, you can drink an extra glass of water for each meal.
Sometimes you may need to drink even if you are not thirsty. This is especially true if you are older, because older people do not feel their thirst as well as younger people.
Eat high fiber and soluble foods
Soluble and high fiber foods are good to eat if you are constipated. Here are examples of such food:
- vegetables such as carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, beans and peas
- fruit, especially prunes, figs, apricots and pears
- whole grain products such as whole grain pasta
- grain bread
- coarse grains like oats, wheat bran and whole flax seeds
Use whole grain products in cooking. For example, you can use whole grain flour in bread if you bake yourself, or mix in various coarse grains and seeds in muesli.
If you increase the amount of fiber in the food you can initially get more gases in the stomach. You can then increase the amount of fiber a little at a time. The gas troubles usually go over eventually.
About flax seeds
Choose whole flax seeds and not crushed flax seeds. You can eat one to two tablespoons whole flax seeds per day. The reason why you should choose whole flax seeds and not eat more than two tablespoons is that flax seeds can form substances that can harm the body.
Drink more as you increase the amount of high fiber foods
Keep in mind that you need to drink more when eating high-fiber foods. If you eat more fiber but do not drink more fluid, you may get stomach aches, stomach upset and more constipation.
Reduce the amount of stuffed food
Avoid or eat and drink less of anything that can help with constipation:
- food products with a lot of white flour, such as pasta and light bread
- white rice
Movement helps the intestines to work. Therefore, try to touch you daily. For example, you can take a walk in conjunction with lunch.
Go to the toilet when you need to
You should not refrain from pooping if you feel you need to do so. Take the time you need while in the toilet. If you resist the reflex, constipation can be aggravated.
Use emollient ointment
You can use an emollient ointment if you have had cracks in the rectum due to constipation, or if you have previously had problems with cracks in the rectum.
If you have pain in the rectum, you can use an analgesic ointment. You then lubricate the rectum opening before popping. Both ointments are available for purchase at a pharmacy without a prescription.
Review your medicines
Pay attention if you become constipated when you start taking a new drug. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you think you may be constipated by your medication. You can then get advice on what you can do to avoid constipation.
Review your existence
Many people get temporary constipation when they are stressed or worried. If you think your constipation is due to stress or worry, you may be able to review the stress of your existence and think about whether it is something you can change.
Treatment of constipation
You may need to use medicines if constipation does not improve. Most medicines are non-prescription and are available at pharmacies. If you are not sure which prescription drug to use, ask the staff of a pharmacy.
There are softening laxatives that soften the poo. You can use them for a longer period of time to prevent constipation. Such drugs are called bulk drugs or osmotically active drugs, depending on how they work in the body.
The remedies come in the form of powder, granules or solution that you drink or mix with food. Granules are small grains of the drug.
Softening laxatives can cause gas problems
You may have trouble with gases in the beginning when using bulk remedies if you have previously eaten most foods with little fiber. You may also have trouble with gases of osmotically active drugs. The trouble usually goes away after a while. To reduce the risk of gas trouble, you can start using small amounts of the funds, and increase a little at a time.
Bulk means contain fibers. You need to drink more fluid when using bulk media to make the bulk agent work properly. Here is a list of examples of bulk agents:
- Lunelax and Vi-Siblin, both of which contain the active substance ispaghula shell.
Osmotically active drugs
Osmotically active drugs work differently. You do not need to drink more water if you use osmotically active drugs. Here is a list of examples of osmotically active drugs:
- Duphalac and Lactulose, both of which contain the active substance lactulose
- Lacrofarm, Laxido and Movicol, all three contain the active substance macrogol.
You should not use medicines containing macrogol for more than two weeks unless your doctor has prescribed them.
Microwave or suppositories
One way to resolve temporary constipation is to use laxatives that you put in your rectum. The laxative is available both as suppositories or as a solution, so-called microlavings. Suppositories are a form of pills that you bring into the rectum.
A microlevel softens the hard buoy, which sometimes sits like a plug in the rectum. The effect comes already after 5-15 minutes.
Examples of laxatives that you bring into the rectum are Microlax solution.
There are so-called intestinal medicines that increase the bowel movements and make the intestinal contents pass faster. Intestinal medicines often clear the entire large intestine, and not just the rectum. After the entire bowel is emptied, it may take up to three days before you need to poop again.
You should only use intestinal laxative on occasional occasions. You should not use these medicines for more than a week, unless your doctor has prescribed them.
Intestinal medicines are available in many different forms. There are suppositories or solution that you bring into the rectum, or tablets or drops that you swallow.
Here is a list of examples of intestinal laxatives:
- Cilaxoral and Laxoberal, both of which contain the active substance sodium picosulfate
- Dulcolax and Toilax
- Pursennid Ex-Lax.
If you have severe constipation
You can start by using microlavings or a bowel remedy to relieve constipation. At the same time, you can increase the amount of fiber in the food and use bulk remedies or an osmotically active drug to prevent getting hard in the stomach. Ask your staff at a pharmacy or health center if you are unsure how to do it.
What is constipation?
You have constipation if you poop less than three times a week, and it is hard and difficult to get the poop. But it differs between people how often you have to go to the toilet. Some poop a couple of times a week, others poop several times a day.
What happens in the body?
Constipation begins with the intestinal contents being transported too slowly through the large intestine to the rectum. The intestinal contents consist of processed food and bacteria.
In the large intestine, the intestinal mucosa absorbs water from the intestinal contents, and when it goes slower, the large intestine absorbs more water. The intestinal contents then become dry and hard. When it comes to the rectum, it collects in a hard lump that hurts to poop out.
When the rectum is full, it sends a signal to the brain, and you feel needy. If you avoid poop because it hurts, more hard poop will accumulate in the rectum and it will be even harder to poop.
When you come to a doctor you will start by telling you about your complaints. It can often be enough to find the cause of constipation. Here is a list of questions you can ask your doctor:
- How long have you been constipated?
- How often do you poop?
- What do you eat and drink?
- Have you started using any new medicines?
The doctor may need to do a body examination. You can also have blood and stool samples .
Sometimes the doctor needs to examine the colon and rectum. You can then be examined by rectoscopy or colonoscopy. The doctor will then send a referral to the reception where you will be examined.
Your doctor may also send a referral to a specialist in gastrointestinal disorders, who will investigate you further.
Important to understand
In order to be able to participate in your care and make decisions, it is important that you understand the information you receive from the healthcare staff. Ask questions if you don’t understand. You can also ask to have the information printed to read it peacefully.
You have the right to receive interpreting assistance. You may also have the right to receive interpreting assistance in the event of hearing loss .