Constipation. Let’s talk about it.
Constipation is difficulty passing stool especially if your bowel movements are not regular in frequency. It can be caused when the body reuptakes fluid in the large intestine and there is not enough fluid left for a “smooth move.” Frequent or chronic constipation can contribute to hemorrhoids and impaction for some people. It can be caused by dietary issues or can be a secondary problem caused by medications, inactivity, or holding stools. Chronic constipation can be a sign of a chronic condition such as irritable bowel syndrome and hypothyroidism.
Pay attention to your body’s signs of constipation including the consistency of your stools. You can do this by comparing your stool consistency to the examples given in the Bristol Stool Chart. The Bristol Stool Chart was developed in 1997 by Dr. Ken Heaton to assess stool transit through the intestinal tract. It characterizes stool into 7 types of consistencies. Types 1 and 2 represent constipation and types 6 and 7 represent diarrhea stools. Types 3 and 4 are considered normal stool consistencies.
So how do you get rid of constipation and prevent it?
-Be sure to get adequate water intake and avoid being sedentary. Get up and move it, move it!
-Eat adequate amounts of fiber. It can assist you in having better bowel movements.
-Decrease fatty and greasy foods.
-You can consider using a foot stool while sitting on the toilet to encourage optimal posture.
-Go as soon as possible when you have the urge to have a bowel movement.
-Discuss any current medications you take with your doctor if you are concerned that you are having constipation as a side effect. Also talk with your doctor about over the counter relief if you are in need of quick relief.
WARNING! Report abdominal pain, blood in stool, rectal pain or bleeding to your doctor and seek care! Report any associated fever, vomiting, or inability to pass gas as well!
If constipation continues, your doctor can assist you with further assessment and treatment along with the dietary changes and activity.
Let Rejuvenant Family Health Care help you get rid of constipation. Click here to enroll in our practice.
Source: Lewis SJ, Heaton KW. Stool form scale as a useful guide to intestinal transit time. Scand J Gastroenterol. 1997 Sep;32(9):920-4. doi: 10.3109/00365529709011203. PMID: 9299672.
This Blog is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. Seek care from your physician for medical advice and treatment.