Constipation is a common digestive issue that can cause discomfort and pain. It usually resolves on its own within a few days or weeks, but if you experience pain or haven't had a bowel movement in more than two weeks, it's time to seek medical help. Additionally, if you have a fever or blood in your stool, you should get medical attention right away. Abdominal pain is often associated with constipation, which occurs when you have difficulty or are unable to defecate.
It's important to see a doctor to rule out any underlying medical causes of constipation. If left untreated, long-term constipation can lead to fecal retention, where hard, dry stools get stuck in the rectum and prevent other stools from passing through. There are also lifestyle changes that can help alleviate the symptoms of chronic constipation and prevent it from getting worse. Severe abdominal pain and constipation can be caused by several urgent health problems that may require surgery to correct them.
Certain medications can slow down movement in the bowels and cause constipation and severe abdominal pain. Less serious causes of abdominal pain include constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, food allergies, lactose intolerance, food poisoning, and a stomach virus. If you experience sudden constipation with abdominal pain or cramps and can't defecate or cough at all, call your doctor right away. Your healthcare provider can perform tests to determine the cause of your constipation and recommend the best treatment for you or your loved one.
Often, you can treat constipation on your own with over-the-counter medications or by making some lifestyle changes. If your constipation persists for three weeks or more, it's important to get a checkup to make sure there isn't an underlying medical condition causing the problem. If your abdominal pain and constipation are due to medications or a medical condition, your doctor will provide you with treatment options to eliminate your current constipation. Seeing a family doctor can also help ensure that those with chronic constipation receive appropriate care and prevent the problem from worsening.
Intestinal bleeding, appendicitis, strangulated hernia, and fecal retention are some examples of medical emergencies that may be accompanied by constipation. Warning signs that may indicate an emergency include sudden constipation with abdominal pain or cramps and an inability to defecate or cough at all. It's normal to feel constipated from time to time, have difficulty defecating, or have infrequent bowel movements. However, if left untreated, constipation can lead to unpleasant complications such as hemorrhoids and rectal prolapse.