Constipation Can Cause Discomfort, Avoidance Of Activities 

No one enjoys talking about bathroom troubles, but constipation is something that affects most of us at one time or another.

Constipation is a change in your bowel movements that causes you to have three or fewer bowel movements in a week. When you do have a bowel movement, your stool can be hard and dry, and it can often be painful to pass.

Constipation can be caused by a variety of issues, says family nurse practitioner Rhoda Chamberlain, APRN, CNP, of Jamestown Family Medicine.

Causes could include:

  • Delayed emptying of your colon
  • Digestive system diseases
  • Functional gastrointestinal disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome
  • Medication side effect
  • Poor diet
  • Stool moving slowly through your colon

Constipation typically isn’t a serious issue. However, if it’s something you’re dealing with frequently, it’s time to visit your primary care provider. 

You should also visit your primary care provider if you notice blood in your stool, weight loss, or fevers related to your constipation, Chamberlain says.

Treating Constipation

Being constipated can make you feel bloated and uncomfortable. You can have cramping and an overwhelming sensation of fullness, says Chamberlain.

Having ongoing constipation can affect your quality of life by making it uncomfortable to enjoy going out and doing things with friends or being active.

Finding a treatment option that works for you can help you get back on track doing the things you enjoy.

The right treatment for constipation depends on what is causing the issue. You can start by making small lifestyle changes, such as adding more fiber to your diet and drinking more water.

Both over-the-counter and prescription medications also are available to help treat constipation. Talk to your provider to decide which medication might be the right option for you.

To learn more about constipation, talk to your doctor or health care provider or search for a provider

Source: Rhoda Chamberlain, APRN, CNP; Jamestown Family Medicine; Constipation, Krames, 1/1/2019; Treating Constipation, Krames, 7/1/2016

Rhoda J. Chamberlain, APRN, FNP-C

Rhoda J. Chamberlain, APRN, FNP-C

Jamestown Family Medicine

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