Severe constipation is defined as less than one bowel movement per week. Going without one for two or three days does not cause physical discomfort, only mental distress (in some people).
Contrary to popular belief, there is no evidence that "toxins" accumulate when movements are infrequent or that constipation leads to cancer.
You can use effective simple measures to treat it (for example, increasing dietary fiber) if it is caused by a medication. If simple measures don't work, it may be possible to substitute a less constipating medication.
For example, a nonsteroidal ant-inflammatory drug or NSAIDs (for example, ibuprofen) or one of the newer and less constipating antidepressants.
If small stools are the problem, eating foods low in fiber may be the cause.
If the patient is experiencing significant straining, then pelvic floor dysfunction is likely.
Fortunately, there are many foods you can eat to help relieve constipation, and foods to avoid that can make constipation worse.
Here is a list of 12 foods to eat to help relieve your constipation.
Nevertheless, because of the possibility that stimulant products can damage the colon, most experts recommend that they be used as a last resort after non-stimulant products have failed.
Hormonal disorders: Hormones can affect bowel movements.
It also requires an immediate assessment if it is accompanied by symptoms such as rectal bleeding, abdominal pain and cramps, nausea and vomiting, and involuntary loss of weight.
The evaluation of chronic constipation may not be urgent, particularly if simple measures bring relief.
A careful dietary history-which may require keeping a food diary for a week or two-can reveal a diet that is low in fiber and may direct the physician to recommend a high-fiber diet.