Do you go fewer than 3x a week? You need a dietary change
Constipation affects 20% of the US population.
Go easy on meat, processed foods, and dairy, and load up on fiber. In addition to fruits and vegetables, foods fortified with fiber will help. Don’t overdo it all at once or you’ll find yourself even more constipated--it will come as a shock to your body. If you cannot get enough fiber from eating healthy, you can try a fiber supplement to keep things moving.
Before you fret, make sure you hydrate daily. By the time you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated. Without enough fluids, you will get constipated. If you are going just a few times a week and it’s hard to push out, you are experiencing constipation. This is caused by slow colonic transit or dysfunction in the pelvic floor. It’s the #1 issue patients discuss with their physicians.
If it’s watery and causing cramps, you could have an infection, allergy, or worse
Diarrhea is loose, watery stools with a frequent need to go. If it lasts more than a couple of days, see your doctor. It can be the result of a viral or bacterial infection, food allergy, food poisoning or a leaky gut. Either way, your body loses lots of nutrients in this situation, and it's worth a trip to the doctor, no matter how embarrassing.
Call the doctor if the following occurs:
- Diarrhea lasts longer than 36 hours.
- Diarrhea contains blood or pus, or is black and tarry.
- You have a fever or severe abdominal pain.
Read on to learn more about your poop.