Symptoms of constipation can include:

  • Infrequent bowel movements and/or difficulty having bowel movements
  • Swollen abdomen or abdominal pain
  • Pain
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Stomach aches and cramps


Tests to diagnose: 

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.