ZocdocAnswersCan infrequent bowel movements cause abdominal bulging?

Question

Can infrequent bowel movements cause abdominal bulging?

My abdomen is kind of bulging and bloating, and I don't know why. I don't have any other digestive problems, but I do have really infrequent bowel movements. This is kind of gross, but could this just be the result of waste getting backed up in my system? Is it a sign that I should do something to have more frequent bowel movements?

Answer

The frequency of bowel movements is highly variable from person to person. If bowel movements occur too infrequently, this is called constipation. The physicians who are well qualified with to discuss this issue with you include your primary care doctor or your gastroenterologist. Constipation can have many causes. Symptoms include infrequent bowel movements that are hard and accompanied by straining. Sometimes, constipation is related to diet and simple requires an increase in fiber, fresh fruits and vegetable, and liquids in order to resolve. Other times it can be causes by lactose intolerance or another food intolerance. Persons with stressful lifestyles are sometimes constipation simple due to not having the time to use the bathroom. Rarely, constipation is caused by an underlying medical condition, such as a thyroid disorder. Another common causes of infrequent bowel movements is irritable bowel syndrome. This can be characterized by periodic bloating and abdominal pain with either constipation or diarrhea. It is common in people with a stressful lifestyle, and many of the simple measures used to treat constipation can also be helpful with irritable bowel syndrome. As always, the diagnosis and management of your specific condition will require a physical examination by your personal physician. Scheduling an appointment with your primary care doctor or your gastroenterologist is recommended.

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

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