CONSTIPATION

INTRO

Constipation refers to having less frequent bowel movements or bowel movements that are difficult to pass. This occurs when stool passes slowly through the digestive tract and becomes dry and hard. Generally people with constipation have 3 or less bowel movements per week. Constipation is very common and can arise from a variety of factors. Most people will experience the occasional bout of constipation in their lifetimes. However, when constipation becomes a frequent or ongoing problem it is important to let your doctor know.

WHO IS AT RISK?
Constipation is a common reason that people see their doctors. While constipation can affect anybody certain risk factors may increase its likelihood of occurring. Taking certain medications such as pain medications can lead to constipation. Eating a diet that is low in fiber or being dehydrated can cause stool to become dry and hard making it difficult to pass. Constipation is also more common in older adults and women.

CONSTIPATION SYMPTOMS

Generally people with chronic constipation have less than one bowel movement every couple days. Constipation causes stool to become dry and hard, often having a “lumpy” texture. As stool becomes difficult to pass people have to strain harder to have a bowel movement. This can be accompanied by the feeling of incomplete passage of stool.

Diagnosis and Constipation Treatment
Constipation is diagnosed through a careful medical history by your doctor. Sometimes additional testing or referral to a gastroenterologist is needed to exclude other diagnoses. The treatment of chronic constipation is based on dietary and lifestyle changes in addition to medications. Increasing fiber intake, staying hydrated and getting regular physical activity can all help improve constipation. Medications such as stool softeners and laxatives are also helpful in promoting regular bowel movements.
How PlushCare Works
1. Video chat with your PlushCare doctor and tell them how long you have had symptoms 2. The doctor can prescribe medicine, make recommendations, and help get you feeling better. 3. Pick up any prescriptions at your pharmacy, and let us know if you aren't feeling better soon.