Constipation in Adults

Constipation in adults
  • Constipation is a general problem that makes it hard to have bowel movements. Your bowel movements might be:

    • Too hard
    • Too small
    • Hard to get out
    • Happening less than 3 times a week
  • Constipation can be cause by:

    • Side effects of some medicines
    • Poor diet
    • Diseases of the digestive system

These symptoms could signal a more serious problem:

  • Blood in the toilet or on the toilet paper after having a bowel movement
  • Fever
  • Weight Loss
  • Feeling weak

Yes. Try these steps:

  • Eat foods that contain a lot of fiber. Superior choices are fruits, vegetables, plum juice, and cereal.
  • Drink a lot of water and other fluids.
  • When you feel the need to go to the toilet, go to the toilet. Don’t hold it.
  • Take laxatives. These are medicines that assist make bowel movements easier to get out. Some are pills that you swallow. Others go into the rectum. These are called “suppositories.”

See your doctor if:

  • Your symptoms are new or not normal for you
  • Your symptoms are new or not normal for you
  • The problem comes and goes, but lasts for longer than 3 weeks
  • You are in a lot of pain
  • You have other symptoms that also worry you (for example, bleeding, weakness, weight loss, or fever)
  • Other people in your family have had colorectal cancer or inflammatory bowel disease

Your doctor will come to a decision which tests you should have based on your age, other symptoms, and person’s condition. There are lots of tests, but you may not require any.

Here are the most common tests doctors use to find the cause of constipation:

  • Rectal exam – Your doctor will look at the outside of your anus. He or she will also use a finger to feel inside the opening.
  • X-rays or MRI – These create images of the inside of your body.
  • Manometry studies – Manometry allows the doctor to measure the pressure inside the rectum at various points. It can help the doctor find out if the muscles that control bowel movements are working right. The test also shows whether the person’s rectum can feel normally.

That depends on what is causing your constipation. First, your doctor will want you to try eating more fiber and drinking more water. If that doesn’t help, your doctor might suggest:

  • Medicines that you swallow or set in your rectum
  • Changing the medicines, you are taking for other conditions
  • A treatment called an “enema” – For this treatment, a doctor will squirt water into your rectum. He or she may also use a thin device to help break up bowel movements that are still inside you.

You might also be able to give yourself enema treatments at home, too. Enemas can be just water, or they can contain medicine to help with constipation.

Dr. Harsh J Shah