Teenagers, generally, don’t talk about their everyday bathroom habits with one another. However, if they did, they would come to know that everybody, at some point in their lives, has trouble with bowel movements. The good news is that it’s not a thing to worry about every single time.
How do you know if you are constipated?
Being constipated means you experience a drastic change in your everyday bowel habits. Your bowel movements will reduce and you will have pain every time you have an urgency. Your bowels are too small, hard, and painful when you are constipated.
Some individuals even strain when they try for a bowel movement (BM) and, therefore, have a feeling of incomplete BM. While everyone can have different bathroom habits, any less than 3 BMs a week means that you are constipated. Sometimes, people are afraid of trying for a BM, thinking it will be painful. As a result, they become more constipated, which may lead to a severe health issue.
What causes constipation in teenagers?
According to multiple studies, people who have one or more existing health conditions like diabetes, low thyroid, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), or women during pregnancy are more prone to getting constipated. Other than this, those who are on some sort of medication like strong painkillers, antihistamines, or antidepressants, can also get constipated.
In most cases, constipation occurs when individuals suppress the urge to use the bathroom, consume a diet that lacks enough fiber and liquid to meet their daily requirements. Solving the problem is easier in such cases and can help them become regular with BMs.
Common signs of constipation in teenagers
While nobody can tell you the exact number of bowel movements you should have on a daily or weekly basis, you generally don’t have any issue or complaint about constipation when you have at least one BM every day or 4 BMs a week.
When people don’t have regular BMs, they feel pain in their lower abdominal. Most people have pain when they feel an urge and try to pass a large, dry and hard stool. Some even see a streak of blood on the toilet paper or blood on the stool. This is a clear sign that the anus is quite irritated.
If ignored, this issue can lead to an anal fissure (i.e. torn anus) or hemorrhoid (i.e. swollen tissues adjacent to the anus), which is quite painful and often causes bleeding when trying to pass a hard stool. Although seeing blood in the stool can be scary, the bleeding and soreness usually go away when you become a regular on your BMs.
In such a case, the first step you need to take is to contact your doctor and explain to him/her the whole scenario to seek the right prescription medication. Your doctor will require you to increase your dietary fiber and water intake and suggest you to take a warm shower post a painful BM.
What helps relieve constipation in teenagers?
Teens usually don’t have much free time, as they are mostly busy with their school, sports activities, and many other after-school activities. If you’re one such child, you may not have much privacy and you don’t find it quite difficult to find yourself a bathroom. However, in case you have been quite uncomfortable talking about constipation even though you have it, now is the time to think and find ways to feel better.
If you find using public toilets a challenge, you need to plan by trying to know about the bathrooms and how to use them, irrespective of your location – be it your school, a playground, or a place where you like hanging out often. Besides, you need to consider adding more fiber and liquid foods to your everyday diet.
Simply increase your daily water intake to 3 to 4 liters and include exercise in your daily routine to keep your overall body healthier than ever. Remember, you feel energetic when your digestive system is healthy.
While constipation can be a serious problem for some individuals, yours may not be a severe case unless you have fewer than 3 bowel movements a week. If you have been having difficulties with bowel movements, seek your doctor’s advice and go with the prescription. Meanwhile, you may consider changing your eating habits for additional relief.