Constipation - what to ask your doctorWhat to ask your doctor about constipation
Constipation is when you are passing stools less often than you normally do. Your stool may become hard and dry and difficult to pass. You might feel bloated and have pain, or you might have to strain when you try to move your bowels.
Below are some questions you may want to ask your health care provider to help you take care of your constipation.
How often should I go to the bathroom during the day? How long should I wait? What else can I do to train my body to have more regular bowel movements?
Regular bowel movements
A program of bowel retraining, Kegel exercises, or biofeedback therapy may be used by people to help improve their bowel movements.Read Article Now Book Mark Article
How should I change what I eat to help with my constipation?
Eat to help with my constipation
Constipation is when you do not pass stool as often as you normally do. Your stool may become hard and dry, and it can be difficult to pass....Read Article Now Book Mark Article
- What foods will help make my stools less hard?
- How do I get more fiber in my diet?
Fiber is a substance found in plants. Dietary fiber, which is the type of fiber you can eat, is found in fruits, vegetables, and grains. It is an i...Read Article Now Book Mark Article
- What foods can make my problem worse?
- How much fluid or liquids should I drink during the day?
Do any of the medicines, vitamins, herbs, or supplements I am taking cause constipation?
What products can I buy at the store to help with my constipation? What is the best way to take these?
- Which ones can I take every day?
- Which ones should I not take every day?
- Should I take psyllium fiber (Metamucil)?
- Can any of these items make my constipation worse?
If my constipation or hard stools started recently, does this mean I have a more serious medical problem?
When should I call my provider?
Gaines M. Constipation. In: Kellerman RD, Rakel DP, Heidelbaugh JJ, Lee EM, eds. Conn's Current Therapy 2023. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier 2023:5-7.
Iturrino JC, Lembo AJ. Constipation. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 19.
Review Date: 10/25/2022
Reviewed By: Frank D. Brodkey, MD, FCCM, Associate Professor, Section of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, WI. Also reviewed by David C. Dugdale, MD, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.