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
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