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What causes severe constipation and what is the remedy?

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General Surgeon
Practicing since : 2008
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Hi, I am 32, female, obese (+/- 430lbs). I have high blood pressure, non insulin dependant diabetes. The last few months I've been suffering from constipation (up to seven days without a bowel movement). This is accompanied with extreme bloating in my stomach, to the point of the feeling it is going to burst, and very bad and painful intestinal gas. I also, my abdomen feels very tight and and distended at times. All this causes me a lot of discomfort. What is the cause of this?
Posted Thu, 26 Dec 2013 in Constipation
 
 
Answered by Dr. Grzegorz Stanko 48 minutes later
Brief Answer: Bad diet. Detailed Answer: Hello! Thank you for the query. The most common reason of constipation is bad diet. Low fiber intake, fatty foods, low mineral water intake can lead to chronic constipation. Obesity does not help either. As you have high blood pressure, some medicines (Ca-blockers) can also cause constipation. Other possible reasons of constipation are hypothyroidism, chronic bacterial infection and bowels obstruction due to inflammatory bowels diseases. I suggest you to start with diet change. Add some probiotic to your diet. Increase fiber rich products, mineral water intake. Avoid fatty foods, spicy foods, alcohol, coffee. Increase physical activity (it greatly stimulates bowels to work). If it wont help, stool test, stool culture test, thyroid test should be done. Hope this will help. Feel free to ask further questions. Regards.
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Follow-up: What causes severe constipation and what is the remedy? 22 minutes later
I have added probiotics and fiber supplements a while ago, which gave me some relief for a while. But this was prior to the worsening of the constipation. Is the bloating in my stomach caused by the constipation? Same question about the abdominal tightness and distention. Because I seem to have those symptoms even when I am able to move my bowels.
 
 
Answered by Dr. Grzegorz Stanko 5 minutes later
Brief Answer: . Detailed Answer: Yes, bloating usually appears with constipation. Due to increased amount of the stool in your bowels, you get bloating (as gas can not pass freely), abdominal tightness and distention. Even when you pass some stool after a week of constipation, still lots of it stays inside, so it does not give a relief. Try stool tests and thyroid tests. Regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: What causes severe constipation and what is the remedy? 5 minutes later
I appreciate the answer. What type of stool tests will I have to ask for?
 
 
Answered by Dr. Grzegorz Stanko 2 minutes later
Brief Answer: . Detailed Answer: Regular stool test (to check for blood, pus cells, mucus) and stool culture test (to check if there is any bacterial infection). Regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: What causes severe constipation and what is the remedy? 6 minutes later
Is there anything I can do about the bloating until the constipation is better/relieved? It causes me intense discomfort and pain to the point of feeling as if my stomach will burst.
 
 
Answered by Dr. Grzegorz Stanko 6 minutes later
Brief Answer: . Detailed Answer: You may try Barriere (Dimeticone) medicine for bloating. Abdomen massage or even hot bath can give some relief. But most important is to to find the reason. If there will be any chronic infection, please discuss with your doctor Rifaximine treatment. If you take any medicines for hypertension, please see the leaflet if it does not cause constipation. Regards.
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Follow-up: What causes severe constipation and what is the remedy? 3 minutes later
Thank you. I will do that.
 
 
Answered by Dr. Grzegorz Stanko 1 minute later
Brief Answer: . Detailed Answer: You are welcome. Hope you will get well soon.
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