What is it?
Constipation is a condition characterized by having difficulty passing a BM, hard bowel movements, and infrequent BMs. Constipation can cause pain with bowel movements, a sensation of “ inability to go”, and not having a BM for more than 3 days. Each individual’s habits can vary for what is considered “normal”, some may go daily others may go every other day.
How is it treated?
There are various ways to treat constipation including bulk laxatives, such as psyllium, stool softeners with docusate sodium, rectal suppositories, or gentle laxatives, such as milk of magnesia. It is important to consult with your healthcare provider on laxative use, as if you take certain laxatives over a long period of time you may become dependent on them.
Are there any complications?
Possible complications include an intestinal obstruction as this can present as abdominal bloating, lack of gas, no bowel movement, nausea, vomiting, and cramping abdominal pain. It is essential to consult your healthcare provider as soon as possible if you have these symptoms.