- Changing your diet or activities
- Not consuming enough water or fiber
- Consuming too much dairy
- Feeling stressed
When does constipation require medical attention?
Almost everyone experiences constipation at some point. In many cases, constipation can be effectively treated at home using conservative methods such as adjusting your diet, exercising, or taking probiotic supplements. More severe cases of constipation, however, may require care from a medical professional. You should seek treatment for constipation if:
- It came on suddenly, along with pain or cramping, and you’re unable to pass gas
- You’re experiencing severe pain when you do have a bowel movement
- There’s blood in your stool
- Your stool has dramatically changed in size, shape, or consistency
- You’re losing weight, with no other explanation for the loss
- You’ve been constipated for more than two weeks
It’s important that you don’t wait to seek treatment, since failing to treat constipation can lead to the development of hemorrhoids, anal fissures, an impaction, or other complications. If you’re in need of treatment for constipation, call DispatchHealth or request service through our website or mobile app, and we’ll arrange to have our skilled team arrive at your home in just a few short hours.
Medically reviewed by Dr. Phil Mitchell MD, MS on July 24th, 2019