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Constipation Powered By Docstoc
					Constipation                                                                               Diarrhoea
Stools (sometimes called faeces or motions) become                                         Diarrhoea is the passing of loose or liquid stools frequently. It is often
hard, and difficult or painful to pass. Some people do                                     accompanied by a colicky (cramp like) pain in the tummy. You may also feel
not need to pass stools every day. This is normal for                                      sick or vomit. Diarrhoea is unpleasant but rarely dangerous.
them and is not constipation. Sometimes crampy pains
occur in the lower abdomen (tummy). Abdominal                                              What causes diarrhoea?
bloating and nausea (feeling sick) may occur if
                                                                                              Sudden change of diet
constipation is severe. Constipation in children is
common, and usually lasts just for a few days. A                                              Eating infected food
healthy diet and plenty to drink is often all that is needed.
                                                                                              Over-eating
What causes constipation and how you can help?                                                Over-drinking
   Some medications like strong painkillers may cause constipation                           Poor hand-washing
   Lack of fruit, vegetables and cereals can result in harder stools                         Travel to a foreign country
   Lack of fluid, so you need to drink at least 1.5-2litres of fluid (8 tall glasses) a   Infants (babies under 1 year old) and the elderly are particularly at risk of
    day. Encourage your child to drink water while at school                               becoming dehydrated (low in body fluid) when suffering from diarrhoea.

   Stress or any change in routine                                                        How you can help
   Lack of exercise. If you don’t exercise enough your bowel will not work properly          Drink plenty of fluid (water & clear soups)
    Try to walk at least 20 minutes a day and use the stairs instead of the lift              Rehydration solutions are useful in replacing lost fluid & salt
   Ignoring the urge to have a bowel movement, so always make plenty of time for          .Always read labels carefully and
    this                                                                                   Contact the Doctor if:

   Is your child comfortable using the toilet at school?                                     There is any blood or mucus (slime) with the diarrhoea

   Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) sufferers may have abdominal (tummy) cramps                A baby, or child with diarrhoea is drowsy or refuses to drink for a few hours

    and constipation alternating with diarrhoea                                               You have a fever with the diarrhoea

How to treat constipation                                                                     The diarrhoea lasts more than 3 days
Before taking a medicine try to increase the amount of fruit, vegetables and cereals          More than two days in a child or the elderly
in your diet and drink plenty of fluids. I this doesn’t help ask your pharmacist for
advice, they will be able to recommend a suitable laxative if necessary.                      More than 1 day in babies under one year old
                                                                                              You pass little or no urine over 12 hours (six hours in babies)
Contact the Doctor if:
                                                                                              You think you have picked up a stomach bug from overseas
   You have tried the above and you are still constipated after 5 days
   You have abdominal pain, vomiting or bloating
   You have blood in your stools
                                                                                                                                              Leaflet adapted from East Lancashire PCT

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