What is constipation?

Constipation is common and generally described as irregular bowel movements or difficulty in pooping. If you have one or more of the following symptoms, you could be constipated:

How serious is your constipation?

Acute Constipation Chronic Constipation
– Infrequent bowel movements, lasting only a few days – At least two symptoms of constipation that last for more than three months or even years
– Happens when there is a change in diet or routine, travel or taking certain medications – Symptoms persist and affects your quality of life

How serious is your constipation?

Acute Constipation
– Infrequent bowel movements, lasting only a few days
– Happens when there is a change in diet or routine, travel or taking certain medications
Chronic Constipation
– At least two symptoms of constipation that last for more than three months or even years
– Symptoms persist and affects your quality of life
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Complications of Constipation

Chronic constipation is more than just a nuisance.

You should never suffer chronic constipation in silence. Untreated chronic constipation could lead to some serious complications, which include:

  • Haemorrhoids

  • Anal fissures (Tears in skin around the anus)

  • Rectal bleeding

  • Rectal prolapse

Besides that, studies also showed that prolonged infrequent bowel movement is associated with an increased risk of colorectal cancer.

How to manage constipation?

You may relieve symptoms of mild constipation by making changes to your diet and lifestyle by:

  • Eating a diet rich in fibre: 25g of fibre per day

  • Staying hydrated: up to 1.5-2.0L per day

  • Exercising regularly

  • Going to the toilet when there is an urge, don’t delay

However, for constipation, laxatives may be required to treat the condition.

All laxatives have different effects in helping you to pass stools. You should choose the laxative based on your symptoms and needs so that the laxative is effective to treat your condition. It is advised to take a laxative that

  • Softens the stools if you have symptoms of hard stools

  • Is safe for long-term if you’re required to take laxatives for a longer time due to a medical condition