ZocdocAnswersI have IBS and have been constipated for 4 days now, what should I do?

Question

I have IBS and have been constipated for 4 days now, what should I do?

I cant eat or drink with out throwing up If i keep it down then i get really bad stomach pain Constipated for 4 days I feel dehydrated I have IBS

Answer

I would strongly recommend that you be seen in an urgent care clinic or the emergency department. If you have been unable to keep down food or drink for several days, you are likely dehydrated and will require IV fluid resuscitation. While IBS can cause periods of constipation along with abdominal pain, vomiting with food or drink is worrisome for either severe constipation or bowel obstruction. If you feel constipated but have been passing gas or having some bowel movements in the past few days, you may require laxatives or enemas to help clear your stool. If you have not been having bowel movements or passing gas, you may have a bowel obstruction. This would be especially likely if you have a prior history of abdominal surgery or previous bowel obstruction. If this is the case, you may require admission to a hospital for further management. Infectious causes or medications could be causing your symptoms. Food poisoning would be unlikely to cause symptoms for 4 days, but infections of the GI tract (mostly viruses) could cause nausea and vomiting with oral intake, although constipation would be more unusual. Many medications can slow your GI tract and cause constipation. Narcotic medications, calcium channel blockers, and iron supplements are some of the more common causes of this. Finally, poorly-controlled diabetes or hypothyroidism could cause worsening constipation. Given the numerous possibilities and severity of your symptoms, I would again recommend that you see a physician urgently.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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