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    Understanding Constipation -- Symptoms

    What Are the Symptoms of Constipation?

    The symptoms of constipation include:

    • Hard, compacted stools that are difficult or painful to pass
    • Straining during bowel movements
    • Fewer bowel movements than usual
    • Stomachache or cramping that is relieved by bowel movements
    • Bloody stools due to tearing of hemorrhoids and anal fissures
    • Leaks of wet, almost diarrhea-like stool between regular bowel movements

    Understanding Constipation

    Find out more about constipation:

    Basics

    Symptoms

    Treatment

    Prevention

    Call Your Doctor About Constipation If:

    • Constipation is associated with fever and lower abdominal pain or swelling.
    • You have vomiting or a loss of appetite
    • You have blood in your stools; this may be from a fissure or hemorrhoid but could also be a sign of colorectal cancer; changes in bowel movement pattern, such as passing pencil-thin stools, may also signal colorectal cancer.
    • Your constipation develops after you start a new prescription drug or take vitamin or mineral supplements; you may need to discontinue the medication or change dosage.
    • You or your child has been constipated for two weeks
    • You are elderly or disabled and have been constipated for a week or more; you may have an impacted stool.
    • You are losing weight even though you aren't dieting
    • You have pain with bowel movements

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson, MD on March 03, 2015

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