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Suffering from constipation. What should I do?

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Practicing since : 1966
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I am an active runner and eat healthy. I have not been regular for about 7 weeks. I now feel fullness from not deficating. I have tried adding plenty of water and fiber to my diet. I am miserable and worried. What can I do?
should i do a colon cleanse? I need relief and results. When i do go, only a little comes out at a time. I feel likle its backed up into my stomache.
Posted Mon, 12 Nov 2012 in Digestion and Bowels
Answered by Dr. Anantharamakrishnan 3 hours later
If in addition to constipation, one has pain / abdominal distension / vomiting – it means Intestinal Obstruction - one has to go the Emergency immediately. If there is ‘some stool’ as you say or even passing ‘gas’ – it is least likely. There is no emergency.
For immediate results – enema is the best. They can be obtained OTC (over the counter).
For results over a few hours, a laxative available OTC can be tried. But some of them may be irritant or stimulants. Lactulose is very safe – it has a wide dose range.
For long term and follow up, bowel re- training may be needed. The bowels might have developed a reflex to move after exercise... Stopping exercise stopped the bowel?! It should be re-trained – going to toilet at fixed times and trying, going after a fixed activity - say a few minute after drinking coffee will usher in a new reflex mechanism – in the next few days.
The best doctor under these circumstances will be a gastro-enterologist – especially if there is no improvement or worsening, or if there is an additional problem or suspicion of any complication. A thorough physical examination and rectal examination are done on the spot. A sigmoidoscopy (or full colonscopy) may at times be necessary to diagnose treatable lesions / exclude serious underlying lesions / follow up and so on.

Take care
Wishing you a speedy recovery
Good luck
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