Constipation is most often defined as having a bowel movement less than 3 times per week and is usually associated with hard stools or difficulty passing stools.
Treatment includes the addition of fiber to the diet, including vegetables, fresh fruits, dried fruits, whole wheat, bran, or oatmeal cereals. To reap the benefits of fiber, drink plenty of fluids to help pass the stool.
What causes constipation?
Constipation has a variety of causes, including lifestyle, medication use, pregnancy or other medical conditions.
Common lifestyle causes of constipation include:
How common is constipation?
If you are experiencing constipation, you are not alone. In fact, constipation is one of the most frequent GI conditions in the United States, with at least 2.5 million patients visiting their doctor each year in search of relief.
Constipation can affect anyone, but it is more frequently experienced by the following:
How can I relieve constipation?
Treatment may involve lifestyle changes, like the addition of fiber to the diet – including vegetables, fresh fruits, dried fruits, whole wheat, bran, or oatmeal cereals. To enjoy the full benefits of fiber, be sure to also drink plenty of fluids. This will help pass the stool. To learn more, schedule an appointment with a board certified gastroenterologist near you!
Can constipation cause back pain?
Because retained fecal matter causes the intestines to swell, constipation can cause discomfort in the back as well as the abdomen. An aching, dull pain is common. The blockage itself may also be responsible for any discomfort if it presses on a nerve or muscle. In this case, back pain will intensify as the mass grows.
Can constipation cause nausea?
Due to the blockage of stool in the intestines, food may remain longer in the stomach instead of continuing through the digestive tract. This may cause nausea or bloating. An imbalance of bacteria in the gut may also lead to feelings of nausea.
Can constipation cause headaches?
In some cases, the stress of constipation or the straining to pass a bowel movement may cause headaches. Research shows a possible link between headaches and constipation, but no definitive connection has been made.
Does stress cause constipation?
Long-term stress may cause unpleasant symptoms like constipation or stomach aches. Because stress can result in GI tract inflammation, it increases the risk of constipation. Stress can also cause your muscles to tense, often worsening symptoms.
Can constipation cause internal damage or lead to other health problems?
If left untreated, constipation may result in any of the following complications:
Can too much fiber cause constipation?
Too much or too little fiber can cause constipation. Too much fiber may also result in other unpleasant symptoms, such as bloating and gas. Drinking more fluids, exercising, and making other lifestyle changes can help relieve symptoms. Our gastroenterologists recommend getting no more than 70 grams of fiber per day.
Should I push during constipation?
If you feel the urge to have a bowel movement, get to the bathroom immediately. Relax first and avoid excessive pushing.
Do bananas cause constipation?
Although one survey found a possible link between bananas and constipation, strong evidence does not exist. In many cases, patients find that unripe bananas cause constipation, while ripe bananas encourage regular bowel movements. This could be due to the difficult-to-digest starch found in unripe bananas.
Does cheese cause constipation?
Yes. Because cheese has little to no fiber and is rich in fat, it may cause constipation or worsen symptoms.
Can peanut butter cause constipation?
Peanut butter is high in fiber food, making it an unlikely trigger for constipation. In fact, peanut butter is thought to keep constipation at bay, with a two tablespoon serving containing about 10% of women’s and 7% of men’s recommended fiber intake.
How do I poop with constipation?
Here at Charleston GI, our gastroenterologists recommend the following:
What does constipation feel like?
Most patients suffering from constipation describe stomach cramps or a tightening in their abdomen. Many also report a feeling of fullness, even when they haven’t eaten for hours. Gas is another symptom, although passing it often does not bring much relief. Constipated people may also have small bowel movements that are followed by the urge to go to the bathroom again – without successfully passing a bowel movement.
What foods help with constipation?
Our GI specialists often recommend the BRAT diet, including high-fibers foods like bananas, rice, applesauce, and toasts. Other fiber-rich options are:
Does prune juice relieve constipation?
Prune juice is an effective, at-home remedy for constipation in both children and adults. For adults, our GI specialists recommend drinking 4 to 8 ounces each morning to stimulate bowel movement.
How can I prevent constipation?
These helpful tips can help prevent constipation:
Is constipation a symptom of pregnancy?
Changing hormone levels can trigger a slowing of the digestive system. This may lead to constipation. About 16-39% of pregnant women become constipated at some point in their pregnancy, particularly in the third trimester.
When does constipation happen during pregnancy?
Constipation may occur at any point, but is most common in the third trimester when the growing baby’s weight rests on the bowel.
How do you relieve constipation during pregnancy?
Pregnant women may find relief with the following: