There are a few medical issues that, no matter how uncomfortable they make you and how much they disrupt your everyday life, you just grin and bear them while hoping they go away. Sometimes, you might feel too embarrassed to seek help from a medical professional, even though a quick 15-minute walk-in appointment could be all it takes for you to get a lifetime of relief.

Constipation is one of those ailments, and while many people are embarrassed to even talk about how it affects them to their friends and loved ones, there’s no reason you should avoid seeking advice from professionals at your local CareWell urgent care center. Especially as summer barbecue season revs up to full gear, you’ll want to have the best treatments at your disposal instead of making up excuses about why you can’t eat the food or run around with the kids in the yard after dinner.

“Symptoms of constipation include a swollen abdomen, excessive gas and stomach pains.”

What is constipation?
Human digestion is a fickle thing. Sometimes, it goes off without a hitch, but if you eat the wrong foods and your body reacts to them in a less-than-optimal way, you could experience symptoms that most people aren’t even aware of are those of constipation.

Generally referred to as any difficulty in bowel movements, constipation affects nearly everybody at some point in their lives. However, older adults and women seem to experience constipation more often, though there’s no uniform timeframe for how long these pains last. Usually, if a patient is unable to experience a bowel movement over the course of a few days, pains from constipation are more than likely in the near future. After three days, stool hardens within the body and becomes more difficult to ultimately expel without severe discomfort.

The most common symptoms of constipation include a swollen abdomen, excessive gas and stomach pains, which is why even though you might be hungry when constipated, you don’t feel very much like eating.

What causes constipation?
Because every body metabolizes food differently, there’s not one defined cause of constipation that physicians normally look for. Instead, your nutritional and physical history over the past few weeks is normally a good indication that your symptoms are due to constipation.

First, not consuming enough water and food containing high amounts of fiber can directly lead to constipation pains. Both serve to flush out your digestive tract, which tends to build up hardened deposits otherwise. However, a lack of physical exercise, alongside severe stress, can wreak havoc on your digestive system. As always, there are some combination of medications, such as antidepressants and antacids, that can chemically block you up if you consume too many of them in a short time span.

Anyone can suffer from constipation pains.
Anyone can experience constipation pains.

How can you relieve yourself from constipation?
In many cases, relief from constipation doesn’t come from treating the acute symptoms themselves, but rather from living a healthy and active lifestyle that prevents the condition from occurring in the first place. However, if you’re suddenly struck by abdominal pains and discomfort, immediate relief is never far off.

Your first step should be to visit your nearest CareWell urgent care center for a quick diagnosis. Once you and your medical professional are certain that what you’re experiencing is really constipation, he or she will work together with you to create a healthier diet to prevent it in the future. In the short term, you might be prescribed low-strength laxative medications that won’t disrupt the healthy parts of your digestive system, but will provide you immediate relief so you can go about your day.