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Constipation

Obstipatio (Latin name)

By Bjarne Lühr Hansen PhD, MD and Philipp Skafte-Holm MD, Mentor Institute

Constipation is a very common condition. In most cases, constipation is low in fluid intake, lack of exercise, low fat diet or medicine side effect. You can treat your constipation yourself. If you have constipation and stomach ache at the same time, consult your doctor.

Constipation is a frequent condition. Only the few of us have regular daily bowel movements at a certain time. About 20% of all are sometimes bothered with constipation and 10% use laxatives. 

By constipation, there is a long time (over 2 days) between the individual bowel movements and at the same time genes in shape of that you need to squeeze, sensation of imperfect emptying of the intestine and hard bowel obstruction. 

Constipation may be very annoying over a shorter period - it is called acute constipation. In other cases, there are weeks before the condition bothers you - it is called chronic constipation. 

Low fat cost, to little fluid, lack of physical exercise and medicine are the most common causes of acute constipation. Constipation is a frequent adverse medicine reaction. 

Some bowel diseases - including colon cancer - can cause chronic constipation but in 90% of all chronic constipation there is no underlying disease.

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What can you do?

It is important to know that only the fewest have regular daily bowel movements. 

In case of chronic constipation (genes and more than two days between the bowel movements for a longer period) you can try with fibre supplements and exercise. Fibre supplements can be taken as wheat bran or as specialty products bought over the counter. The pharmacy can advise you. Fibre supplements and exercise are the most effective remedy for constipation, but only work properly after a few months. 

In case of acute constipation there are various medicine you can buy over the counter e.g. Lactulose. Fluid and exercise are also important in acute constipation.

Contact the doctor tomorrow

In case of acute constipation.

By pain in the stomach and constipation.

Contact the doctor immediately

In case of severe abdominal pain and constipation.