If you’ve ever experienced constipation, then you’ll know how painful it can be. This health issue impacts millions of people, sending 2.5 million Americans to the doctor’s office annually. But how do you know when to go to the hospital or when to pop a MiraLax? Find out when constipation becomes a medical emergency.
For those who’ve never suffered from constipation, it has a myriad of symptoms. The first sign of constipation is that you have had fewer than three bowel movements within a week, or are having difficulty passing stools. This can be related to dietary changes, fiber deprivation, and dehydration. It can also be caused by medical conditions, different medications, and lack of exercise. Additionally, a gastrointestinal disorder such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) may impact your likelihood of developing constipation.
If you or someone you know is experiencing constipation along with other problems, then there may be an underlying issue. For example, if someone is dealing with stomach bloating in addition to constipation, then it could be a sign of IBS. Additionally, constipation combined with blood in the stool could be a red flag for Crohn’s disease. Moreover, pain in the abdomen coupled with constipation could point to appendicitis. Furthermore, vomiting and constipation could be related to fecal impaction. If any of these symptoms sound familiar to you, then it’s time for you to see a doctor.
When To See The Doctor
Typically, constipation is a temporary issue that can be taken care of with home remedies. Yet, there are still several occasions when a doctor’s appointment is necessary. When you experience intense abdominal pain, vomiting, bloated stomach, and bloody stool in combination with constipation, it could be a dangerous combination. If you suffer from these symptoms, then you should seek medical treatment immediately.