Constipation is difficulty passing stools. It may be accompanied by gas, abdominal cramping, or pressure in the lower abdomen. Constipation may lead to stool impaction, a severe form of constipation where the stool will no longer pass through the bowel or rectum.
Causes of Constipation:
- Inadequate fluid intake
- Decreased activity
- Poor diet
- Pain medications and other medications
- Some chemotherapy drugs
- A sustained decrease in the frequency of bowel movements from your normal routine
- Hard or difficult to pass movements. You may pass small, marble-like pieces of stool without a satisfactory elimination
- Cramping or gas
- Drink plenty of water. Fluids keep the stool soft. Try to drink 6 to 8 glasses (8oz. each) of fluid a day.
- Eat foods high in fiber, such as fruit, vegetables, and beans. High fiber foods stimulate the intestines to move.
- Avoid cheese, processed meat and other low fiber foods that cause constipation.
- Exercise helps stimulate digestion and prevent constipation. Moderate activity such as walking will help.
**Call your doctor if you are constipated**
Some Medications (Laxatives and Stool Softeners) that may help:
- Kristalose (lactulose)
- Colace (docusate)
- Dulcolax (bisacodyl)
- Milk of Magnesia
- Senokot (senna)