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Symptom Checker

Step 4: Read and complete the decision guide to learn more about your symptoms.

Constipation in Adults

Great! You should continue to avoid straining.

Straining at stools probably creates more problems than you are solving. The formation of hemorrhoids is a common complication of increased abdominal pressure from straining.

The best way to facilitate your bowel movements is to respect the importance of timing:

  • Be responsive to urges:  it is best to respond to all signals that your colon is giving you that suggest you are ready to have a bowel movement. If you try to overcome urges to pass stool, then your signals may become fainter. Diminished signals can decrease your notice of and control over bowel movements.

  • Try to have bowel movements after your meals: following meals (particularly morning meals), your colon is more active. You can take advantage of this natural increase in bowel activity by being especially responsive to urges that occur after meals. If your morning meal includes a cup of coffee, then the caffeine will also stimulate movement in the colon and promote a bowel movement.

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