Are you feeling constipated? Unable to feel comfortable? Not sure what to do? Let us help.

Here’s some information about Constipation and what our qualified GPs can offer to you!

What is constipation? 

Constipation is common and it affects people of all ages. You can usually treat it at home with simple changes to your diet and lifestyle. However, sometimes you may need the help of a GP.

It’s likely to be constipation if:

  • You or your child haven’t had a poo at least 3 times in a week
  • The poo is often difficult to push out and larger than usual
  • The poo is often dry, hard or lumpy

However, it’s not unusual for a breastfeeding baby to go a week without having a poo.

You may also have a stomach ache and feel bloated or sick.

Things to look out for in babies and toddlers include: a lack of energy, being irritable, angry or unhappy. They may also soiling their clothes.

 

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To make it easier to poo, try resting your feet on a low stool while going to the toilet. If possible, raise your knees above your hips. 

Causes and Treatment

Constipation in adults has many possible causes. Sometimes there is no obvious reason.The most common causes include:

  • Not eating enough fibre – such as fruit, vegetables and cereals
  • Not drinking enough fluids
  • No exercise or being less active
  • Often ignoring the urge to go to the toilet
  • Changing your diet or daily routine
  • Stress, anxiety or depression
  • A side effect of medication

Constipation is also common during pregnancy and for 6 weeks after giving birth.

In much rarer cases, constipation may be caused by a medical condition.

Things you can do!

Simple changes to your diet and lifestyle can help treat constipation. It’s safe to try these simple measures when you’re pregnant. 

You may notice a difference within a few days. Sometimes it takes a few weeks before your symptoms improve. To make your poo softer and easier to pass:

  • Drink plenty of fluids and avoid alcohol
  • Increase the fibre in your diet by adding some wheat bran, oats or linseed to your diet
  • Increase your exercise – A daily walk or run can help you to poo more regularly.
  • Improve your toilet routine – Keep to a regular time and place and give yourself plenty of time to use the toilet.

 

 

When should you see a GP

If you have tried to change personal and lifestyle habits, you have spoken to a pharmacist and over-the-counter medication has not worked – then, you should also see a GP urgently if:

  • You are not improving with treatment
  • You are regularly constipated and it lasts a long time
  • If you are bloated over a long time
  • If you have blood in your poo
  • You have unexpectedly lost weight (or a child has not grown or gained weight)
  • You feel very tired all the time

Speak to the GP before you stop taking any prescribed medication.

 

 

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