Thanks for your query.
From the information provided, I presume that the change in bowel habits started with the onset of mental stress
Mental stress leads to reduced appetite and irregular meals. Perhaps, you have been taking low fiber diet for quite sometime, along with inadequate intake of fluids. The end result : constipation
The other possibility- mainly in middle-aged/elderly people- is the presence of a growth or a polyp in the colon, which is causing obstruction in the intestine apart from constipation.
Further, constant straining to pass stools may at times cause transient prolapse of rectum
which comes out momentarily, but goes back the moment straining is stopped. You need not worry on this account, since it is nothing serious.
The course of action, which I feel would be best for you, is as follows :-
* First Priority : relieve constipation by use of laxatives (such as liquid paraffin
, Milk of Magnesia
etc..) along with liberal intake of water/fluids.
* Revert back (if you are not taking) to eating foods which contain high quantities of fiber. Addition of Psyllium
husk/powder would be ideal.
* Once the bowel movements revert back to normal, undergo Colonoscopy- a procedure by which the inside of colon is directly visualized to see for any growth, polyp and the state of inner lining of colon. This will provide invaluable information about a pathology (if any) in the colon.
* Simultaneously, start taking a combination of anti-depressants + anti-anxiety
drugs, which will relieve you of your mental stress. Bowel movements will normalize once you have mental peace.
Consult your doctor and discuss my opinion/recommendation with him. He knows what needs to be done.
Hope you find my response as helpful and informative.
Dr. Rakesh Karanwal