Constipation is another symptom-based bowel disorder that is defined as the infrequent passage of small or hard stools with or without straining. As a general rule of thumb, if you have not had a bowel movement within three days, you are considered to be experiencing constipation.
Individuals may experience constipation for short periods of time, or it can be chronic, lasting more than three months and substantially affect quality of life.
Like most bowel disorders, symptoms of constipation will present differently for everyone. Some common symptoms can include difficulty emptying bowels, loss of appetite, early satiety, stomach distention, excess wind and decreased bowel movement frequency.
The presence of constipation may be brought on by one singular factor or multiple. Causes can be categorised into four main categories including simple constipation that may be related to dietary intake; irritable bowel syndrome with constipation as the main symptom; slow-transit constipation involving dysfunctions and defecatory disorders.
Dietary and Lifestyle Modification
Dietary and lifestyle modification can make substantial changes to symptoms and can be managed by an experienced dietitian. It is encouraged that anyone experiencing constipation discusses this with their general practitioner. Further investigations may need to be made by a gastroenterologist to rule out any other bowel disorders.
It’s important when looking for a dietitian that they understand your specific condition and address your immediate and long term needs. You are in good care with our team of dietitians.
Frequently asked questions