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Dr. Muneeb Ali
Dr. Muneeb Ali, Intensivist
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 3148
Experience:  MBBS, MD, MCCM.Currently working in Critical Care Medicine with 10 year experience in Medicine
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What causes constant constipation? My husband has taken 3

Customer Question

What causes constant constipation? My husband has taken 3 laxatives daily for several
months and still has very infrequent BMs. We're considering contacting a gastro specialist
since his regular physician doesn't seem concerned. What do you think? My husband is 84.
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. Muneeb Ali replied 2 months ago.

Hi,

Im sorry to hear about your husband. Can i ask has your husband ever passed blood or mucus in his stools? Any abdominal pain? Is he on any medications or has any medical conditions?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Meds: Lisinipril 20 mg, Finastride 5 mg, Chlorithalidone 50 mg, and a baby aspirin, 05 mg.
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
No blood or mucus in stool
Expert:  Dr. Muneeb Ali replied 2 months ago.

Thank you for the additional information

Well constant constipation which has persisted for 3 months can be due to a number of conditions. The first one can be due to simple change in diet or rather lack of fiber in the diet. This can be easily corrected by using an increased amount of dietary fiber and also by adding OTC fiber supplements metamucil or benefiber. These two steps can solve most patients constipation issues.

Secondly, the constipation can also be due to a pathological process which means that there is an underlying disease which is causing the problem. The first and most common one is hemorrhoids, even if he doesnt have blood in his stool, hemorrhoids can still produce consipation. If this is the case then a simple rectal examination and proctoscopy can be diagnostic here. This would be followed by treatment as indicated by degree of the hemorrhoids.

ANother issue could lie inside the intestines themselves, sometimes polyps inside the colon or even another lesion can alter the bowel habits and at the same time cause blood and mucus in the stool. However in the early stages, it can present as just constipation. This would be evaluated with a colonoscopy. Also considering his age if he hasnt had a colonoscopy done as of yet then he should get one done now.

Lastly, the constipation can also be due to IBS or irritable bowel syndrome which is a condition in which you can have diarrhea as well as constipation. This would be managed with several medications.

Now the drugs which you have mentioned can also play apart here and could be aggravating an underlying issue and worsening the constipation. I would suggest that you have your husband increase his fluid intake, cut back on caffeine and alcohol and at the same time increase the fiber intake. BUT he DOES need to be seen by a gastroenetrologist and he should see him as soon as possible.

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Expert:  Dr. Muneeb Ali replied 2 months ago.

Would you like to know anything else? If done for now, please remember to leave a positive rating as that is the only way we are compensated for our time spent helping you. You can continue to ask follow-up questions even after the rating.