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Constipation

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Constipation

There are a number of contributory factors that can lead to constipation, some of which include:

• lack of or not enough fibre in diet
• change in routine or lifestyle
• ignoring the urge to pass stools
• medication side effects
• not drinking enough fluids
• immobility or lack of exercise
• anxiety or depression

Constipation in children can be caused due to poor diet, fear of using the toilet and problems during toilet training.

Although all of our content is written and reviewed by healthcare professionals, it should not be substituted for or used as medical advice. If you have any questions about your health, please speak to your doctor.

Authored Jul 30, 2021 by Joseph Issac, MPharm
Reviewed Aug 11, 2021 by Prabjeet Saundh, MPharm

It is important to see your GP promptly if you have the following symptoms associated with constipation:
• rectal bleeding
• unexplained weight loss
• persistent tiredness
• severe abdominal pain

You should also see your GP if the constipation persists for more than 14 days with no improvement.

Although all of our content is written and reviewed by healthcare professionals, it should not be substituted for or used as medical advice. If you have any questions about your health, please speak to your doctor.

Authored Aug 11, 2021 by Joseph Issac, MPharm
Reviewed Aug 11, 2021 by Prabjeet Saundh, MPharm

Constipation is a condition when you are not passing stools regularly or an inability to empty your bowel fully. It can also cause your stools to be hard and lumpy and change in size.

Constipation is quite common and can affect people of all ages. This condition may be a short-term issue or in some cases it can be chronic with significant pain and discomfort.

Although all of our content is written and reviewed by healthcare professionals, it should not be substituted for or used as medical advice. If you have any questions about your health, please speak to your doctor.

Authored Aug 11, 2021 by Joseph Issac, MPharm
Reviewed Aug 11, 2021 by Prabjeet Saundh, MPharm

Symptoms that accompany the infrequent passing of hard and lumpy stools include:
• stomach ache and cramps
• feeling bloated
• nausea
• loss of appetite

A child with constipation may also experience the following symptoms:
• loss of appetite
• a lack of energy
• being irritable, angry or unhappy
• foul-smelling wind and stools
• stomach pain and discomfort
• soiling their clothes
• generally feeling unwell

Although all of our content is written and reviewed by healthcare professionals, it should not be substituted for or used as medical advice. If you have any questions about your health, please speak to your doctor.

Authored Aug 11, 2021 by Joseph Issac, MPharm
Reviewed Aug 11, 2021 by Prabjeet Saundh, MPharm

Lifestyle and dietary changes are usually recommended as initial treatment for constipation. This includes a gradual increase of daily fibre intake, drinking plenty of fluids and exercising.

High fibre foods include:

  • Wholegrain breakfast cereals, whole-wheat pasta, wholegrain bread and oats, barley and rye
  • Fruit such as berries, pears, melon and oranges
  • Vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, potatoes and sweetcorn
  • Peas, beans and pulses

Oral laxative medications such as bisacodyl (Dulcolax), senna (Senokot) and isphagula husk (Fybogel) are also available to provide relief from constipation. Laxatives are available from the pharmacy.

Constipation is usually self-limiting and the above points can ensure a return to normal bowel movements.

Although all of our content is written and reviewed by healthcare professionals, it should not be substituted for or used as medical advice. If you have any questions about your health, please speak to your doctor.

Authored Aug 11, 2021 by Joseph Issac, MPharm
Reviewed Aug 11, 2021 by Prabjeet Saundh, MPharm

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