What Are The Symptoms of Constipation?
February 14, 2012 | By Thomas Ehrman

Symptoms of constipation can vary. Adults can go as often as two or three times per day, or as few as three times per week. Symptoms of constipation depend on diet and lifestyle.

Constipation can usually be self-diagnosed. Most people will recognize symptoms of constipation including bloating, hard stool and straining during bowel movement. If a person experiences constant constipation, medical advice is recommended.

Symptoms of constipation include a person passing small amounts of hard, dry stool less than three times a week. Bowel movements are often difficult and painful. Other symptoms of constipation include being bloated, uncomfortable and sluggish. The person may also feel they still need to defecate after excretion.

Symptoms of constipation can lead to other complications, such as:

  • Hemorrhoids, caused by strain of the muscles around the anal opening (typically alleviated by warm baths, ice packs and creams).
  • Anal fissures, when the rectum muscles tear (typically alleviated by warm baths, ice packs and creams).
  • Fecal impaction, when fecal matter becomes packed into the intestinal tract and rectum so hard that regular bowel movements cannot excrete fecal matter (can be relieved with mineral oil and manual manipulation).

What severe symptoms of constipation should trigger an alarm?

  • If you have a sudden and unexplained onset of symptoms of constipation lasting longer than three weeks.
  • If symptoms of constipation alternates with diarrhea, or you have sudden unexplained weight loss.
  • After change of diet and start of an exercise program, the bowel movements are still days apart.
  • Chronic constipation.
  • Blood in the stool.
  • Abdominal pain.

These severe symptoms of constipation could be indicators of severe health problems. Medical assistance is strongly recommended.

The content material of this article or webpage is for educational and consumer information purposes only, under section 5 of DSHEA.

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