When To See A Doctor About Constipation?

Constipation - When to See a Doctor?

Sometimes, having an irregular bowel movement is not a big deal, especially that it does not happen all the time. But if you are constantly having trouble with your bowel movement, then maybe it is time for you to find ways to cure constipation and determine when to see a doctor.

What Happens When A Person Is Constipated?

If you are constipated, you will find it hard to expel your feces. You will identify that you are having constipation if you are experiencing an increased difficulty when passing stools. You will also experience stomach cramps, stomach ache, bloating, nausea, and loss of appetite.

[Also Read: How To Stop Stomach Pain During Periods]

If your stool is hard or lumpy, then it is a sign that you are having chronic constipation. You will also feel like there is something which blocks your rectum; that is why you are prevented from having bowel movements. And the most common sign of chronic constipation is when you have not passed stools for more than three times in a week.

What Causes Constipation?

There are many factors which cause you to suffer from constipation, such as when you change your lifestyle and habits. Sometimes, it could also be an indication of various diseases or even physiological problems.

  • Lack of exercise or not being active
  • Taken opioids or other medications such as antidepressants, iron pills, and narcotics
  • Stress
  • Abuse of laxatives
  • Ignoring the urge to poop
  • Insufficient fluids and fiber in the diet
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Changes in routine
  • Other causes such as eating disorders, neurological disorders, endocrine and metabolic disorders, systemic conditions, intestinal obstructions, and many more.

When Is Constipation A Problem?

Constipation should not be a long-term problem. It can even be resolved without the need for seeking help from a specialist. But there are instances when constipation requires medical treatment. Here are the symptoms when you should seek medical assistance

It Comes With Constant or Intense Abdominal Pain

Although it is common to experience abdominal pain when you have constipation, there are times when it is an indication that you are suffering from more serious health problems such as appendicitis, pancreatitis, perforated intestine or stomach, intestinal obstruction, or mesenteric ischemia.

It Comes With Vomiting

This could be an indication of fecal impaction. It occurs when the stool gets stuck in your colon. This situation is very dangerous; that is why it requires urgent medical attention.

It Comes With Stomach Bloating

If you are having a painful stomach bloating, then it could be a sign that you have a serious bowel obstruction. This should not be taken for granted as it requires immediate medical attention.

Constipation-When To See A Doctor?

Constipation is not a big deal, especially if it is just occasional. But there are times when it is a sign of a more serious health condition. If you are having trouble with constipation, know when to worry about it.

Do you know that chronic constipation might be a sign of diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, multiple sclerosis, thyroid diseases, lupus, and many other conditions? So, you should not take it for granted. You should seek help from an expert.

The deciding factor when to see a doctor should be when you are having constipation for around three weeks. A constipation doctor can help you determine your underlying condition. But do not wait for three weeks if your stool has blood on it or if you have not pooped even once in a week.

Furthermore, you need to see a doctor if home remedies are not capable of relieving you from constipation and abdominal pain. If your constipation also comes with fever, persistent fatigue, lower back pain, unexplained weight loss, recurrent vomiting, severe abdominal pain, and blood in the stool, then you should seek help from your doctor right away.

When To Worry About Baby Constipation?

Sometimes, it is normal for your baby to experience irregular bowel movements. It is normal for them to have soft stools. If your baby seems to be suffering from abdominal pain or if he or she is irritable, then it is best to call help from your doctor.

If there is blood in your baby’s stool, then immediate medical attention is needed. And if the condition of your baby is not improving with the current treatment, then you need to seek help from the doctor right away.

When To Worry About Constipation In Toddlers?

If your toddler is experiencing bloating, nausea, stomachache, loss of appetite, or crankiness, then you should seek help from your doctor. You should also be aware that your toddler is screaming or crying during bowel movements. You may sometimes think that they are just acting up, but constipation can be painful.

Conclusion

It is normal to experience constipation at least once in your life. It will not be a huge problem, especially if it takes only a few days. But if constipation symptoms persist, know when to see a doctor. It is also worth noting that if your baby or your toddler is experiencing constipation, you should make observations to know whether or not it is serious.

Dr. Ahmed Zayed

Dr. Ahmed Zayed

Doctor, author and fitness enthusiast, Ahmed Zayed, MD, is a surgery resident with a passion for helping people live a happy healthy life. He is the author of numerous health-related books and contributor to several medicine, health and wellbeing websites.
Dr. Ahmed Zayed