fbpx

Constipation

Constipation is a very common condition, affecting people of all ages. It can mean that you are not passing stools (faeces) as often as you normally do, you have to strain more than usual or you are unable to completely empty your bowels. Many people only experience constipation for a short period of time with no lasting effects on their health.

Causes of constipation

Determining the exact cause can be difficult but diet has a significant role with eat too little fibre e.g not enough fruit, vegetables, and cereals and drinking too little fluid contributory factors. Some medicines can also cause constipation.

Medical conditions such underactive thyroid, I.B.S. (irritable bowel syndrome), anxiety and depression can also have an influence.

Symptoms of constipation

There are various symptoms of constipation as can be seen below.

  • Straining when you have a bowel movement
  • Feeling as though you haven’t fully emptied your bowels
  • Passing unusually large or small faeces or your stools are dry and lumpy
  • Having fewer than three bowel movements a week
  • Stomach pain or discomfort
  • Feeling sick or bloated
  • Loss of appetite

Diagnosis of constipation

A diagnosis can be made without tests as it should be identifiable from your symptoms and medical history.

Severe symptoms may initiate a blood, thyroid and other tests to rule out other conditions.

Consider further tests if symptoms prove troublesome or there are associated symptoms such as bleeding, weight loss, bouts of diarrhoea or symptoms are severe and recurring.

Treatment for constipation

Simple and dietary changes are frequently advised with an increase of fibre intake advised to help the constipation and because it is good for general health. It is also important to drink enough water – between eight to ten cups a day – as it helps move digested food through the bowel more easily.

Over-the-counter laxatives are available from pharmacies but it may take more than one to improve the condition. Ask the pharmacist for advice.

A GP will normally advise you to stop taking laxatives once the stools are soft and easily passed but if constipation is caused by an underlying condition or a medicine you have been prescribed then the course could last for months.

Contact us

To ask a question about a constipation or to book an appointment, contact our specialist team available Monday – Friday 8am – 6pm and on Saturday from 9am – 1pm.

Our gastrointestinal specialists team have a dedicated and caring approach and will seek to find you the earliest appointment possible with the correct specialist for your needs. If you are self-paying you don’t need a referral from your GP. You can simply refer yourself and book an appointment. If you have medical insurance (e.g. Bupa, Axa PPP, Aviva), you will need to contact your insurer for authorisation for any treatment and, in most cases, you will require a referral letter from your GP. If you do not have a GP, then we have an in-house private GP practice that you can use.Alternatively we can suggest the most appropriate course of action for you to take, given your location and individual circumstance.

Call us on 020 7078 3802 or email us at gi.unit@hje.org.uk

prolapse treatment london

GI Clinic

The GI Unit is supported by a multidisciplinary team of medical and surgical consultants. Our expert team treats and supports patients with any gastrointestinal conditions.

A patient speaking to a receptionist

Patient information

Our Hospital is renowned for providing exemplary levels of care across more than 90 services. From orthopaedics, to urology, our private GP practice and Urgent Care Clinic, our services are led by some of London’s leading Consultants. For more information, and to find a service suitable for your care, find out more about the services that we offer.

Make an enquiry

If you have any questions relating to treatment options or pricing information, get in touch with us by filling out one of our contact boxes or giving us a call on 020 7078 3802.

Our Appointments Team have a dedicated and caring approach to finding you the earliest appointment possible with the best specialist.

If you are self-paying you don’t need a referral from your GP for a consultation. You can simply refer yourself* and book an appointment.

If you have health insurance (e.g. Bupa, Axa Health, Aviva), you will need to contact your insurer to get authorisation before any treatment, and in most cases you will also require a referral letter from your GP.

If you are not registered with a GP, we have an in-house private GP practice you can use. Alternatively, we can suggest the most appropriate course of action for you to take, given your location and individual circumstances.

*Please note – for investigations such as X-rays and MRIs, a referral will be required. However, we may be able to arrange this for you through our on-site private GP.

    Make an enquiry

    Latest articles

    The latest news, insights and views from St John and Elizabeth Hospital.

    Find out what we’re doing to keep you safe, read expert articles and interviews with our leading specialist Consultants, learn more about common conditions and get your questions answered.

    05th July 2022

    What to expect as you recover from a stroke

    The sooner you begin therapy after a stroke, the more likely you are…

    first signs of mini-stroke

    24th May 2022

    The first signs of a mini-stroke and how to recover

    Having a stroke is a frightening experience, which over 100,000 people go through…

    home remedies for stomach pain

    05th May 2022

    Home remedies for stomach pain and when you should go to the hospital

    We all know what it’s like to have an upset tum or be…

    About hje hospital

    18th March 2022

    About St John & St Elizabeth Hospital

    Over the coming months, in planned phases, we’re opening the last few areas…

    health insurance

    18th March 2022

    Should you get health insurance?

    When it comes to paying for private healthcare, there are two main options…

    staying healthy while travelling

    17th March 2022

    5 tips for staying healthy abroad

    After the past couple of years we’ve had, you might be itching to…

    Private Cyst Removal

    20th January 2022

    What are cysts, and is cyst removal always needed?

    Cysts are a common skin condition, but what causes them, and do you…

    treatment after stroke

    18th January 2022

    Treatment after a stroke: What can you expect?

    A stroke occurs every five minutes in the UK. Post-stroke treatment is critical…

    medical professional looking into microscope

    12th January 2022

    Under the microscope: The many benefits of private healthcare

    Whatever your situation, there might come a point when you consider going private…

    shoulder pain

    11th January 2022

    What causes shoulder pain and what can you do about it?

    The shoulder is made up of various joints and tendons that allow a…

    gallbladder attack

    04th December 2021

    Are you having a gallbladder attack? Find out more about the causes, symptoms and treatment

    A gallbladder attack can happen at a moment’s notice and cause aggressive pain….

    overactive bladder

    02nd December 2021

    Constantly need to pee? How to treat an overactive bladder

    If you regularly get the feeling that you’ve “got to go”, you’re not…