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  • Answer 1/10

    Constipation means:

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    What's normal is different for everyone. Some people go once each day or even more than that. If you're pooping less than three times a week on a regular basis, you're probably stopped up.  Other signs are straining to have a bowel movement and hard, dry stools.

  • Question 1/10

    Call your doctor if your constipation goes on for:

  • Answer 1/10

    Call your doctor if your constipation goes on for:

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    • Correct Answer:

    Don't let the problem drag on. You can get complications. Straining can cause hemorrhoids, which are swollen veins around your anus. Pushing can also cause your rectum to slip out of your anus. Large, hard poops can create small tears in the area, too. It's possible for a large amount of stool to get stuck in your intestines if you don't go for a while.

    Your doctor can find out why you're backed up and treat the problem.

  • Question 1/10

    You probably should try this first to ease constipation:

  • Answer 1/10

    You probably should try this first to ease constipation:

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    • Correct Answer:

    Eat more fruits, veggies, and whole grains. These foods are high in fiber and can prevent constipation or help you get regular again. Drink water throughout the day because dehydration can dry out your stools and make them hard to pass.

    If you're still constipated after diet changes, talk to your doctor. He may suggest fiber supplements, stool softeners, or laxatives.

  • Question 1/10

    Constipation causes dangerous toxins to build up in your body.

  • Answer 1/10

    Constipation causes dangerous toxins to build up in your body.

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    It's a myth that toxins in the stool poison your body and make you sick. Long-term constipation, though, can be a sign you have another condition, like diabetes, underactive thyroid, irritable bowel syndrome, or colon cancer. Call your doctor if you also have bloody stools and lose weight without trying.

  • Question 1/10

    Which fruit is especially helpful in easing constipation?

  • Answer 1/10

    Which fruit is especially helpful in easing constipation?

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    You may know them better by their other name, prunes. They can help you get your bowels moving again. They're high in fiber and have other substances that act as a laxative. How many should you eat? One study shows that 12 prunes twice a day works well.

  • Question 1/10

    Which medication can cause constipation?

  • Answer 1/10

    Which medication can cause constipation?

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    • Correct Answer:

    Many drugs can back you up, including some antidepressants and pain medicines like codeine and morphine. Don't stop your medicine without talking to your doctor first. She'll let you know if it's OK to switch meds to try to solve the problem.

  • Question 1/10

    Which of these can sometimes make constipation worse?

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    Which of these can sometimes make constipation worse?

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    • Correct Answer:

    Taking certain laxatives too much can backfire. The ones that help muscles in your gut speed things along should only be used for a short time. Why? Your colon can "forget" how to work on its own if you take them often, which will make your constipation worse. Follow your doctor's instructions when you take a laxative.

    Research shows that "helpful" bacteria called probiotics and certain types of acupuncture may ease constipation.

  • Question 1/10

    You're more likely to get constipated if you're a:

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    You're more likely to get constipated if you're a:

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    You can get constipated at any age, but it happens more as you get older. So if you're a boomer -- born between 1946 and 1964 -- you're more likely to have constipation than younger generations. There are lots of reasons for it. When you're older, you may take medicines that trigger constipation. Or you may not be as active as you once were. Bad muscle tone in the bowel and belly can be to blame, too.

  • Question 1/10

    What major life change often causes constipation?

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    What major life change often causes constipation?

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    • Correct Answer:

    Your bowels may not move as well when you're expecting. Pregnancy hormones slow down digestion and make it harder for your bowel muscles to move waste through your system. Later, your growing baby may press against your intestines, which makes it harder to go.

    Eat right, drink lots of water, and stay active. Talk to your OB/GYN about laxatives if your bowels are still stalled.

  • Question 1/10

    Which of these is NOT a good option for constipation?

  • Answer 1/10

    Which of these is NOT a good option for constipation?

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    • Correct Answer:

    The procedure is also called a colonic, and it can be risky. Gallons of liquid and sometimes herbs are flushed through your colon. Side effects can include cramping, vomiting, dehydration, bowel damage, and electrolyte imbalance.

    An enema uses much less liquid. It's OK occasionally if other methods aren't working. Mineral oil is a lubricant and can help stool slip through your system. Ask your doctor if these are safe for you.  

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Sources | Reviewed by Hansa D. Bhargava, MD on December 04, 2017 Medically Reviewed on December 04, 2017

Reviewed by Hansa D. Bhargava, MD on
December 04, 2017

IMAGE PROVIDED BY:

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SOURCES:

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: "Definition & Facts for Constipation."

Cleveland Clinic: "Constipation."

American Academy of Family Physicians: "Constipation."

American Gastroenterological Association: "Understanding Constipation."

National Health Service (UK): "Constipation Causes."

Canadian Society of Intestinal Research: "Prunes vs. Psyllium for Reducing Constipation," "Treating Constipation with Laxatives."

Harvard Medical School: "Probiotics May Ease Constipation," "Modern Acupuncture Linked to Constipation Relief."

Medical University of South Carolina: "Bowel Habits and Aging."

United States Census Bureau: "The Baby Boom Cohort in the United

States: 2012 to 2060."

Office on Women's Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: "Pregnancy Body Changes and Discomforts."

Mayo Clinic: "Is colon cleansing a good way to eliminate toxins from your body?"

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