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You Have to Open Up About It to Get Relief
It’s a topic most people would like to keep in the closet—the water closet. Constipation is one of those oh-too-personal subjects that are not considered fit for discussion. In fact, in a survey conducted by the makers of Senokot® and Colace® products, half of the respondents said they would rather talk about their sex lives than constipation!2
Yet lots of people experience constipation at some point. According to the same survey, 66% of women and 51% of men report having constipation at some time. That is a lot of discomfort and it’s a discomfort that can be treated—if people would get over their embarrassment and open up about their situation to find the help they need to relieve their constipation.
Once people finally open up about their discomfort, they describe feelings of bloatedness, gassiness, and then they wonder if they are experiencing constipation.
Are You Going Regularly? It All Depends on What You Define as Regular
It may seem obvious that, if your bowels are not moving regularly, you are constipated. But people ask, “What is regular?” The truth is, “regular” is not easy to pin down. “Regular” for one person can mean having as few as three or four bowel movements a week and, for another, ten movements. Bowel habits are different for everyone and frequency of your bowel movements alone is not the best way to determine if you are experiencing constipation. However, most people describe certain symptoms, beyond frequency of elimination, that are common indicators of occasional constipation. See if any of these symptoms are familiar to you.
Six Indicators of Occasional Constipation
You may be experiencing constipation if…..
- Your stools are hard and dry. Hard, dry stools that are often small in size can be difficult to eliminate and often indicate a bout of constipation.
- You strain when trying to make a bowel movement. Elimination should not be routinely difficult. If you find yourself feeling the urge to “go” but nothing much happens, you may be experiencing constipation.
- You feel uncomfortably full, even though you haven’t overeaten or haven’t eaten a meal for several hours. That feeling of fullness can be an indicator of constipation.
- Despite having a bowel movement, you feel it was incomplete. You want to go again but can’t. This is a common feeling of constipation. Your bowels are not fully eliminating themselves and your body is signaling to you that you are probably experiencing constipation.
- You find your bowel movements a bit painful.
- You feel bloated, gassy, or general abdominal discomfort with little or no relief.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, consult your doctor, especially if your symptoms last for more than a few days. A conversation with your doctor can help you understand your constipation and give you good professional advice on its treatment.
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