Infrequent bowel movements or a difficulty with stool passage is a common problem called constipation.
There are two basic types of constipation. One type is due to factors such as medications of which pain killer or narcotics would be the most common. This second type of constipation is called functional and has to do with way the body functions. Some functional factors would be low thyroid conditions, neurologic diseases, or an individual’s body has a physical problem that causes an obstruction in the mechanical processes of digestion and elimination.
The disorder is characterized by straining during the bowel movement, hard stools with small size, a person may have the sensation of still having to go or incomplete emptying, a feeling of blockage, or less than three bowel movements per week.
If you are 50 years old or older and have not had a screening colonoscopy, then you need to consider one. This is very important to do to rule out a cancer of the colorectal area. Early detection can lead to cure. Constipation that does not relieve easily or readily with standard treatment should always lead to discussion of a study such as colonoscopy.
Some common treatments include increased water intake, exercise, ground flax seed one quarter cup in cereal, psyllium husks, decreased processed flour, decreased carbohydrates, as well as a getting into a regular routine.
As always, any blood in the bowel movement is abnormal until proven otherwise. Therefore it is important to be seen by a physician or health care provider.