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"How long should I wait before consulting a doctor about constipation?"

ZocdocAnswersHow long should I wait before consulting a doctor about constipation?


I haven't gone since Saturday, 6 days ago. I've been taking PURELAX laxative since WEN and still no signs of me having to go. I've tried several times. Any other advice on how to go? When should I consult a doctor? I have no discomfort or pain. Just feeling bloated here and there. Thank you.


Six days is a long time for someone to go without having a bowel movement so I would suggest you schedule an appointment with your primary care doctor. This is especially true since you have been taking polyethylene glycol through this time which usually works pretty well to relieve constipation. There are some other good medications that can be purchased over-the-counter that can work well for constipation. Probably the most mild of all of the constipation medications is a medication called docusate or Colace. This is basically just a stool softener which makes it easy to pass a bowel movement. The second medication that is very commonly used his something called Senna. This is a medication that helps stimulate the bowel and move stool along in the colon. Thus, Colace and Senna work in two different ways and using them together can be very effective. I usually use polyethylene glycol as a second line. The answer to your second question is yes you should consult with the doctor. It is not normal to be constipated for that long. Not only can you get help with some directions on what medications to take but you might need a small work up for why you are constipated. I would suggest that you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. The two of you can discuss your symptoms, and discuss why you might be constipated. It might be just as simple as changing your diet to include more fiber.

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