Constipation is a common GI issue usually caused by not getting enough water and/or fiber in your diet. Almost everyone experiences it at some point in their lives. It's important that you treat occasional constipation without relying on over the counter laxatives. Frequent or long term use of laxatives can cause an additional health risk and could cause dependence.
Chronic constipation is much more serious and can cause long term damage. If you notice a darkening of the stool or visible blood you should contact a doctor immediately, as this may be a symptom of a more serious health issue.
- Infrequent bowel movements – typically fewer than three stools a week
- Painful bowel movements – having hard or lumpy stools
- Straining to have bowel movements
Most occasional constipation can be treated with the gradual addition of fiber and drinking plenty of water each day. 25 – 30 grams of fiber per day is the daily recommendation and adults should be drinking at least 64 ounces of water per day; more if you are working outside or live in a very hot, dry climate. Don't live with the discomfort, make an appointment with an AGA physician today.