Symptoms of constipation can include:
- Infrequent bowel movements and/or difficulty having bowel movements
- Swollen abdomen or abdominal pain
- Loss of appetite
- Stomach aches and cramps
The tests include:
- Blood tests if a hormonal imbalance is suspected
- Anorectal manometry
- Abdominal x-ray
- Colonoscopy to look for obstruction of the colon
Laxatives are a type of medicine that helps you pass stools. There are several different types and each one has a different effect on your digestive system.
- Bulk-forming laxatives: ispaghula husk, methylcellulose and sterculia.
- Osmotic laxatives: magnesium citrate, lactulose, polyethylene glycol (MiraLax) and sodium phosphate enema (Fleet Enema).
- Stimulant laxatives: Colace and Surfak.