Recognizing Constipation Symptoms

by Erica Sanderson Editor

Constipation is a common issue for many adults and even children. While it might not seem like a serious problem, constipation can lead to severe complications. Most people don’t even realize they’re constipated and often mistake their symptoms for something else. Here are five common symptoms of constipation you should know.

Changes in stool

Constipation will not only make it harder to go, it will change the appearance of your stool as well. While most people believe constipation only means not going at all, in reality, it usually means stool becomes hard pebbles. You might also be able to go but can’t empty completely. This can lead to straining and hemorrhoids.

Bloating and gas

Gas is produced when gut bacteria don’t properly digest food in your small intestines. It can be hard for your body to properly absorb these foods when stool is stuck. When you’re intestines are backed up, gas can become trapped and cause your belly to bloat.

Lack of appetite

You might already feel full even though you haven’t eaten much. Swelling of the intestines can put pressure on the stomach, causing discomfort and limiting your appetite. Try eating small portions of gut-friendly foods like bananas or saltines. It’s important to still have some sustenance even if you don’t feel like eating. Remember to drink plenty of fluids.

Abdominal discomfort

Stool that is clogging up the intestines can make your abdomen swell, causing pain or discomfort. It may feel like certain areas in your abdomen are rock hard when you press against it. Avoid movement that centers on your core, such as ab exercises, which could exacerbate the pain. If the pain becomes excruciating, something else could be at play and you should seek medical attention.

Feeling tired

Housing excess waste can take a toll on your body as it reabsorbs what is in your intestines. Not to mention that feeling bloated doesn’t usually make you want to be active and socialize. Try an easy walk to get your energy up. Any movement will also benefit your bowel system.

Erica Sanderson
Meet Our Writer
Erica Sanderson

Erica Sanderson is a former content producer and editor for HealthCentral. Living with a chronic disorder that affects the lungs and instestine, Erica focused on covering digestive health and respiratory health. Topics included COPD, asthma, acid reflux, managing symptoms and medication.