Are You Constipated?
At Fleet Laboratories, we know that while many people believe a healthy person should have a bowel movement every day, it's actually normal for people to pass stools anywhere from three times a day to three times a week. You're most likely not constipated if you fall within this range and your stools are soft and pass easily.
Bowel Movement - The discharge of waste matter (feces) through the rectum and anus; defecation.
You're probably constipated if you are having three or fewer bowel movements each week or you're experiencing some of the following problems:
- Straining or difficulty passing stools
- A sense of incomplete emptying after a bowel movement
- Hard or pellet-shaped stools
- A feeling of being blocked up
What Causes Constipation?
A variety of reasons can lead to constipation, including:
Fiber – Indigestible parts of grains, fruits, and vegetables that contain cellulose. Fiber helps to bulk up stool, absorb water, and facilitate bowel movement.
- Diet, specifically a lack of fiber
- Lack of exercise
- Travel or other changes in daily routine
- Medical conditions that affect the colon
Colon - The part of the large intestine extending from the cecum to the
Rectum. It absorbs water from stool and changes liquid waste into solid form.
- Medication usage
- Hormonal disorders
How to Help Prevent Constipation
In most cases, you can take these simple steps to help prevent constipation:
- Eat more fiber, including beans, bran, whole grains, and fresh fruits and vegetables
- Drink plenty of liquids
- Exercise regularly
- Don't ignore the urge to have a bowel movement
- If your bowel habits change, check with your doctor
If these recommendations don't work, Fleet Products can help!
Acute Constipation – See Your Doctor
While most cases of common constipation can be easily treated and are not a cause for concern, acute, or recent onset, constipation could indicate a more serious health problem. If you experience any of the following conditions, contact your doctor.
- Abdominal pain and cramping
- Bloating, nausea and vomiting
- Rectal bleeding
- Involuntary weight loss