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Conditions

Constipation

Constipation

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Constipation is extremely common and can affect a broad range of ages. It is generally defined as a problem in opening the bowels, but it can also mean opening the bowels less often than normal (perhaps less than three times a week) or passing hard or pellet-like stools on more than a quarter of occasions. Cases range from the acute (occasional and temporary) to the chronic (persistent), and can be triggered by poor diet; irregular mealtimes, and certain medication (particularly codeine-based painkillers and antacids containing aluminium). There are no long term complications for anyone suffering from constipation, although it can be a symptom of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). And with all the eye-bulging straining on the throne, you may also end up with a case of piles or an anal fissure. Still, it’s nothing that a high-fibre diet and lots of fruit and vegetables can’t sort.

Watch the Live from the Clinic interactive video on constipation >

If your child is suffering from constipation, then read our special guide for parents on the Embarrassing Bodies: Kids website.

What the Men in White Coats Say

Comments and Questions

The EB doctors have been looking at your comments and have answered some of the common questions below. Remember that it is always best to check with a health professional if you have any concerns about your health.

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Please note: Unfortunately Channel 4 cannot respond to individual inquiries. If you have any concerns, you can check out NHS Choices, but ultimately it is always best to check with a health professional.

Hi I have recently taken up the slimming world diet which is low fat and high on fibre. It seems to have brought my passage to a standstill! Is more fruit and veg going to get things moving. I tried an over the counter solution that worked but would rather things pocked up naturally. I just feel so full!! Thanks





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Hiya I have had diearea for almost 3 weeks and pains in my belly I have been to the doctors and thy sent me to the hospital was in hospital for almost 2 days getting blood taking etc and they advised me I didn't have IBS so they have me Laxido to take one in the morning and one at night but I can't stop having diearea and I'm only 25 and getting very worried as its rooning my social life as I can't go out as I'm scared incase I have a accident I have took them every morning and I have ate very little and still no change I look foward to hearing back from you 😢





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I was doing no 2 but atlast i couldnt let all out,, something like pointed stuck in my anus in the middle and its paining a lot! I have to let it out but i dont have strength,What should i do? Please say me! Previous day aftr lunch i didnt ate anything nor in evening nor had dinner and drank just1amulcool and drank less water. Could this be the cause?





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Please help. I havent pooed in 10 days. I am 3 months pregnant and have tried eating endless oranges and vitamin C, drinking cartons on apple juice and taking milk of magnesia... but still nothing... im so tired and feel so ill.. what can i do.





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Have any of you tried colonic cleansing (irrigation)? I had a course of 3 treatments after suffering with severe constipation for over 10 years. Was prescribed laxido etc by the Dr but rarely worked for me so booked a colonic out of sheer desperation. The colonics worked really well and I immediately felt relieved and so much better! Take herbal tablets now and return for a colonic every 6 months to stay on top of it. Best thing I ever did :-)





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Im constipated for two years I kept going doctors they said I have to change my diet which I have. Nothing changed since I had abdominal pains , cramps and wen I went to hospital they have found out I got IBS. Doctors gives you laxido but for some people laxido dont help like me not even laxatives anymore.. Please help I feel frustrated from this pains and not normál care I should get..





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I really do need help Im severly constipated and been to the doctors over and over and over and everything they give me doesnt work I had so much blood out of my bottom today it was almost like period out of my bum





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I started off feeling sick, that stopped then BAD belly cramping and couldn't go to the loo. I've taken over the counter tablets to help me go, twice I passed small amounts of yellow/light brown diarrhea, then stopped tablets and still the same problem I can't go? Just taken another tablet, hope this helps?! Just started new job, need to be better fast. I'm healthy, 32 years, size 10/12, eat well, drink water & hot drinks, could exercise more, but in general I'm a active person. I never have problems and slightly worried now it's been 5 days! Look forward to your reply, Thank you.





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boil corn with its leafs intact, for 30- 60 mints..remove the leafs add some taste/salt and eat. at least 3 a day depending on your condition. otherwise once a week will keep you fit and it will definitely help.. send prayers for me.:)





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My daughter age 35 cant go to the toilet she doesnt go for a month and doesnt get the urge to go for weeks she has to take something to help her to go like movicol this has been going on for years she is pregnant now and i am concerned i think she needs help i dont have that problem and dont think it is normal for anyone not to go to the loo for all that time





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Hi I'm also 35 and since the age of 14 I can go without fir several weeks. I have taken everything known by the doctors and also had an outpatients appointment to which they state there findings were normal and therefore wouldn't see me again. I now have to take duculax once a week to see any movement. Recently I have been waking with a dull pain in my stomach and worry that it could be a cause of the tablets. I have spoken to my doctor again and say there is nothing they can do. As I get older it does worry me lots as I do not understand where my waste food goes and the toxins it releases in my body. If you have any different answers I would love to know.


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Content supplied by NHS Choices

Constipation is a very common condition that affects people of all ages. When you are constipated, you feel that you are not passing stools (faeces) as often as your normally do, or that you have to strain more than usual, or that you are unable to completely empty your bowels. Constipation can also cause your stools to be unusually hard, lumpy, large or small. Read More »

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