Symptoms of chronic constipation include abdominal pain, infrequent bowel movements, irritability, bloating and general malaise. While these symptoms are usually temporary, chronic constipation can cause long-term complications. Some of these complications include abdominal cramping, intestinal prolapse, diverticular disease, hemorrhoids, and rectal prolapse.
In order to diagnose chronic constipation, a physician must consider two or more symptoms for three months. For instance, symptoms may be pain when urinating, constipation after eating, constipation after exercise, constipation after smoking, or constipation after a bowel movement.
Symptoms of chronic constipation can also be accompanied by irritability, abdominal cramping, back pain, and general malaise. A physician can determine the cause of your constipation and prescribe a treatment plan. If your symptoms persist, your doctor may prescribe a laxative or recommend alternative treatments.
Some of the more common causes of constipation include an insufficient diet, too little physical activity, and an unhealthy lifestyle. Constipation may also be the result of certain medications, including blood pressure medications and antidepressants. Taking ibuprofen or naproxen can also increase your risk of constipation.
Another symptom of chronic constipation is having a hard, lumpy, dry stool. This type of stool can be painful to pass. It may also cause an obstruction in the colon.
If your constipation is caused by dehydration, you should drink more water. You can also take a laxative or stool prep fluid. You can also take a stool sample to check for an infection.
Constipation is not a normal part of the human body. It can be caused by an underlying health condition, such as cancer, diabetes, or inflammatory bowel disease. You may be able to prevent chronic constipation by incorporating more exercise into your lifestyle.