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UNDERSTAND AND
TAKE CONTROL
OF YOUR
CONSTIPATION

WHAT IS CONSTIPATION?

Constipation is a common condition that can affect people of all ages. It can mean that you’re not passing stools regularly, or you’re having difficulty passing them.8 Or you may even feel an uncomfortable fullness even after you’ve had a bowel movement.20

Constipation affects everybody differently. It can make your stools hard and lumpy, or unusually large or small.

It’s probably constipation if:21

  • You have bowel movements fewer than 3 times in a week
  • Your stools are often difficult to push out and larger than usual
  • Your stools are often dry, hard or lumpy

You may also have stomach ache and feel bloated or sick.8

Constipation isn’t just about frequency. In fact, many doctors consider factors such as the shape, texture and consistency of stools to be the best way to assess bowel functionality. Your doctor may use a simple scale to measure your stool consistency called the Bristol Stool Scale22 You can download a copy

HERE

It may be reassuring to know that constipation is not usually a serious condition15– but speak to your doctor if you have any concerns

DID YOU KNOW?

Constipation is one of the most common medical conditions, affecting up to
1 in 3 people.15

WHAT CAUSES CONSTIPATION?

Constipation usually happens when stools have been in the bowel for too long, and water from them is re-absorbed by the body. This can make the stools hard and dry, and difficult to pass.8

There are many things that can cause constipation in adults. Sometimes there’s no obvious reason for it.21

The most common causes include:21

  • Not eating enough fiber – such as fruit, vegetables and cereals
  • Not drinking enough fluids
  • Not exercising enough
  • Ignoring the urge to go to the toilet – sometimes referred to as ‘withholding’
  • Changing your diet or daily routine
  • Stress, anxiety or depression

Certain medications are known to cause constipation. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines that may explain your symptoms.

In much rarer cases, constipation may be caused by a medical condition.21

Constipation is common in new mums and mums-to-be.

FIND OUT MORE

CAN STRESS CAUSE CONSTIPATION?

Thoughts and emotions that are triggered by stress are thought to have an impact on your digestive system and may contribute towards constipation. This is thought to be a result of the way in which your brain and gut work together, known as the brain-gut axis.23

There may be times when you can’t help feeling stressed, but there are things you can do to try and deal with stress better, such as:24

  • Talk to family or friends about things that are worrying you
  • Try increasing the amount of exercise you get
  • Download some mindfulness or relaxation apps
  • Make more time for your hobbies and interests
  • Make sure you’re getting enough sleep
  • Make sure you eat a healthy diet
TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR CONSTIPATION

Sometimes, the worry of being constipated can make you even more stressed, which in turn may make your constipation worse.
Duphalac® provides constipation relief that lasts.1,2

FIND OUT WHICH PRODUCT
IS BEST FOR YOU

TRAVEL AND CONSTIPATION

A change of routine, such as being on holiday with a different diet and time zone, and using facilities in public places, can affect your bowel habits.25

This can make travelling a challenge when you’re constipated. But there are many things you can do to help keep you comfortable.

DRINK PLENTY OF WATER

not drinking enough fluids can make constipation worse, so make sure you have plenty of clear liquids to drink.26It’s best to avoid alcohol and caffeinated drinks (such as cola or coffee) as these can dehydrate you.8

FILL UP ON FIBER-RICH SNACKS

Eating healthily can be tricky when you’re on-the-go, as it’s easy to reach for low-fiber convenience food. This can make constipation worse.8 Instead, try to carry high-fiber snacks with you such as dried fruit, cereal bars, popcorn, and unsalted nuts. Choose healthy meals with plenty of fresh vegetables when possible.

TRY TO STAY ACTIVE

If you have a long journey by plane, train or car, make sure you set time aside to get up, stretch and have a walk around. This can help to keep your digestive system moving.26

TRY AND STICK TO A ROUTINE

Where possible, try and stick to your usual meal and sleep times. Eating soon after you wake up can also be beneficial.27 If you usually use the toilet at a certain time of day, try and stick to that too. About 30 minutes after a meal is usually a good time.25

LISTEN TO YOUR BODY

Don’t ignore your body’s signals, as this can make constipation worse.8 Try to make sure you always know where the nearest toilets are so you can go if you need to.

BE PREPARED

If you’ve had problems with constipation whilst travelling before, or if you’re already experiencing constipation, it might help to start taking medication ahead of time. Duphalac® stick packs are ideal when you’re on the go. Each dose can be tipped directly onto the tongue, sprinkled on food or mixed with a drink.4

Duphalac® sticks packs come in convenient pre-packaged sachets, ideal when you’re on-the-go.

FIND OUT MORE

LIFESTYLE CHANGES CAN HELP WITH CONSTIPATION

Our busy lifestyles can play a role in constipation, with many contributing factors.

If constipation is interfering with your life, don’t worry. There are plenty of things you can do to help.

The first thing you should do is to make some simple changes, such as:

MAKE CHANGES TO YOUR DIET8

  • Including enough fiber in your diet can keep your bowel movements more regular by helping food pass through your gut more quickly
  • Drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration. Try to cut down on the amount of alcohol, caffeine and fizzy drinks you consume.

INCREASE YOUR ACTIVITY8

  • A daily walk or run can help ease constipation. And there are many other health benefits because exercise can help make you feel healthier and it may improve your mood, energy levels and general fitness.

IMPROVE YOUR TOILET ROUTINE

  • Try to keep to a regular time and place and give yourself plenty of time to use the toilet. 30 minutes after eating a meal is usually a good time to go.25
  • Don't ignore the urge to go as this can make constipation worse.8
  • Try resting your feet on a low footstool while going to the toilet. If you can, raise your knees above your hips. Relax and breathe normally, tighten your stomach muscles and push down whilst trying to relax your back passage.25

If these lifestyle changes aren’t helping, treatment is available. Find out which Duphalac® product is best for you. Or find out more about other medicines used to treat constipation

CONSTIPATION IN BABIES

Constipation in babies is very common, affecting up to 40% of infants28 and there are many possible causes. But sometimes there is no obvious reason.

Common causes include:

  • Changing from breast milk to a milk substitute (infant formula) or cow’s milk17
  • Introducing processed foods21
  • Fever, diarrhea and vomiting can reduce hydration levels. This can increase the risk of constipation17

Spotting the symptoms of constipation. Things to look out for include:

  • A lack of energy21
  • Being irritable, angry or unhappy21
  • Decreased appetite28

These symptoms may disappear immediately after having a bowel movement.28

In much rarer cases, constipation may be caused by a medical condition.21

Remember, it’s not unusual for a breastfed baby to go a week without having a bowel movement.21 And constipation is common if you’re changing to formula or cow’s milk.17

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT TREATING CONSTIPATION IN BABIES

 

Your child may be constipated if:21

  • They have a bowel movement fewer than three times a week
  • Their stools are often large, and/or hard and/or difficult to push out

Common causes include:

  • Eating a diet that’s low in fiber – e.g. fruit, vegetables, cereals21,29
  • Not drinking enough fluids21
  • Emotional stress, such as starting nursery or school21,29

In much rarer cases, constipation may be caused by a medical condition.21If your child is potty trained, soiled pants can be a sign of constipation, as softer stools can leak around hard, constipated stools. Sometimes, constipated children ignore the natural urge to go to the toilet, this is called ‘withholding’. This can make constipation even worse, so it’s important that you get help early. Talk to your doctor if you think your child is constipated.30

Constipation can affect anyone in the family. Find out more about

TREATING CHILDREN WITH CONSTIPATION

If you’re a Mum-to-be and you think you might be constipated, you’re not alone. Up to 40% of women can experience symptoms at some point during pregnancy. Constipation can also affect new Mums, with almost 1 in 4 still experiencing constipation three months after their baby has been born.16

There are many reasons why constipation is common during pregnancy:

  • Changes in hormone levels during pregnancy can slow the natural movement of the gut, and reduce the water content of the stools, making them hard to pass15,31
  • The presence of the baby in your tummy may also increase the possibility of constipation15
  • Reduced exercise or ‘bed rest’ may increase the risk of constipation31
  • Not eating enough fiber31
  • Not drinking enough fluid31
  • Some supplements taken in pregnancy such as iron tablets, can cause constipation16

Find out more about

TREATING CONSTIPATION DURING PREGNANCY

DID YOU KNOW?

Almost 1 in 4 new Mums still suffer from constipation three months after their baby has been born.16

Find out more about Duphalac® mum and baby

Constipation can affect anyone in the family. And it’s more common that you might realise. In fact, it’s one of the most common medical conditions, affecting up to 1 in 3 people.15

Constipation becomes more likely as you get older, and women are more likely to suffer than men.11,12

For most adults, simple lifestyle changes can help. However for older adults, there’s no evidence to suggest that diet and lifestyle changes will help, so treatment for constipation will probably be needed.32

If you’ve tried making changes to your lifestyle, and they haven’t helped, you might need to try using medication for your constipation. Or if you have any concerns, speak to your doctor.

Find out more about treating for constipation

TAKE A LOOK AT THE DUPHALAC® RANGE

to find the product that’s best for you.

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