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Symptom Checker

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

Constipation in Adults

In your case, we should review bowel habits that help to minimize problems from constipation:

You should avoid straining at stools if possible:

If you are forcefully contracting your pelvic and abdominal muscles but are not quickly seeing results, then you are probably creating more problems than you are solving. The formation of hemorrhoids is a common complication of increased abdominal pressure from straining.

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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