Symptoms of constipation


How to recognise constipation early

Could be embarrassing in certain situations, but that’s usually the worst of it: You feel as though you have too much air in your tummy. This has to be released and may cause unpleasant sounds and smells.
This could possibly just be the outcome of some days of too little water, fibre or exercise: Despite straining when you go to the toilet, sometimes painfully hard, you still don’t feel you can fully empty your bowels. The result is usually dark, dry, hard and a small amount.
Traces of blood in your stool are harmless in most cases, but it can be useful to know the source: Light-red blood on or in your poo mostly comes from the lower part of the intestine. Blood from the upper part makes stools significantly darker and stickier. Possible causes of blood in stools or on toilet paper include enlarged piles or small tears in the walls of the rectum brought about by straining too hard.
You eat less than before and have had no real appetite for a while. You basically feel full all the time and no longer fancy things you used to enjoy eating.
Usually nothing serious, but the discomfort can affect your everyday life: You experience jabbing pains in your lower stomach when going to the toilet. This may develop into a permanent pain.
You feel uncomfortable and full of gas. This may even be clearly visible. A bloated stomach often occurs in the afternoon or evening and does not necessarily follow a meal.
As so often in life, you should follow your own rhythm here. As a rule of thumb, the ‘normal’ level ranges between twice a day and three times a week.
Your poo varies from being mushy or watery to dry with a feeling of constipation. You sometimes don’t feel you can fully empty your bowels.