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Infrequent bowel movements, no effect of Metamucil. Concerned

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My daughter (40 years old) has a history of infrequent bowel movements, which normally occur about 2-3 days apart. However, it has now been 6 days since her last movement and she is becoming concerned. Metamucil has no apparent effect.

Any suggestions?

Regards, XXXXXXX Melrose
Posted Sat, 29 Sep 2012 in Digestion and Bowels
Answered by Dr. Om Lakhani 1 hour later

Constipation is a very common problem. We are often trained that we must pass motions daily but physiology says that atleast 3 motions in a week is normal. Some people simply have slower movement of the GIT which causes less frequent bowel movements.

Is the lack of bowel movements causing distress ? Is there any bloating of abdomen ? Is there any pain or loss of weight ?

If there is no to each of the above questions that you need not be worried. If yes we need to evaluate further.

You can start off with a thyroid function test and routine blood investigations. If there is loss of weight we might consider going for a colonoscopy. Else the best idea is to continue metamucil , take lots of fibers in diet and if that doesn't work we can consider other medications. Remember fibers are the safest and most natural way of a good bowel movement.

Hope I have answered your query. If you have any further questions I will be happy to help

Dr. Om Lakhani
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