Do you need to know how to treat abnormal bowel movements? Problems with your bowel movements can take many different forms. These include constipation, diarrhea, and other conditions. Follow the advice below to treat the specific abnormal bowel movement problem you are having.
Constipation is a decrease in the frequency of bowel movements. This is accompanied by difficulty passing stool, passing only small, hard stool, and/or the sensation of not having completely emptied one's bowels. To treat constipation:
- Constipation is often caused by poor diet or dehydration. Eat healthy meals, including plenty of vegetables, fruits, whole-grains, bran, and fiber, and be sure to drink 8-10 glasses of water a day. If this does not relieve constipation, visit your doctor to determine whether there is another cause for your abnormal bowel movements.
- Impacted stool is another common cause of constipation. Your doctor may use X-ray to diagnose impacted stool. This condition is treated with an enema.
- If change in diet does not relieve constipation, your doctor may recommend over-the-counter laxatives or stool softeners. Exercise can also help treat constipation. If you are not having discomfort, a bowel movement three to seven times a week is healthy.
A common type of abnormal bowel movements, diarrhea is frequent loose, watery stool. It is usually mild and goes away within a few days. Follow these steps to treat chronic diarrhea:
- If you have diarrhea, avoid becoming dehydrated by drinking plenty of water. For severe diarrhea, you may use an electrolyte solution available at the pharmacy. Avoid caffeinated beverages.
- Some foods can help cure diarrhea. These include yogurt, toast, bananas, and rice. They can lessen the severity of the abnormal bowel movements and shorten the duration of the illness.
- Do not use over-the-counter diarrhea medications unless recommended by your doctor. Some diarrhea is caused by an infection. These medications may make the infection worse.
- If you have diarrhea for longer than 5 days, call your doctor. Call right away if you have blood in your stool. Diarrhea accompanied by fever is also cause for concern.
You may think you have an abnormal bowel movement if the color is unusual. This may or may not be cause for concern. Green or light-colored stools are typically caused by change in diet, and do not typically need medical attention. If you have black or red stools, however, call your doctor right away. This type of abnormal bowel movement can indicate blood in the stool, which may be a sign of a major medical problem.