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Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 17515
Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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I have constipation with severe pain in my stomach and it feels

Customer Question

I have constipation with severe pain in my stomach and it feels like a pain in the lower part of my spine and around the lower part of my back. I have taken laxatives and it only helped briefly and I'm trying to take in a lot of water aswell to flush my system through but I have been like this for a week. Any ideas? Thank you.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for using JustAnswer. I will be glad to assist you today.

There are several options to consider in this situation.

For relief of constipation that has already started causing significant symptoms, it is usually better to either use a stimulant laxative, such as Dulcolax (bisacodyl), or a cleansing enema, such as a Fleet's enema. If you have already tried a stimulant laxative, then it would be appropriate to try the enema.

For long-term management of constipation, it is usually better to use fiber, which can be done by increasing the dietary intake of fresh fruits and vegetable, legumes, and whole grains or by using a fiber laxative. Initially, it is better to get the intake of fiber up to 25 grams per day, but some people need higher amounts of fiber, up to 30-35 grams per day. If the fiber is not sufficient, then adding a stool softener, such as docusate, would be appropriate. With either of thee interventions, you are correct that drinking plenty of water is also important.

If you have any further questions, please let me know.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for your reply. Can I get the enema over the counter at the chemist or will this need to be prescribed by my GP? Will the pain in my spine and lower back go once the constipation has passed?

Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 3 years ago.
All of the interventions noted above are available over the counter, although the local store may carry the generic version, which is fine.

If the pain is due to the constipation, then relief of the constipation will result in resolution of the pain. Although constipation can cause pain in the stomach and back some of the time, there is no way to know with certainty that one is causing the other in a particular individual. If the pain resolves with relief of the constipation, then that is proof that it is causing the pain in you. If the pain persists despite the relief of the constipation, then that would indicate that there is another cause of the pain and further evaluation would be appropriate.

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