So THAT's How Long You Can Go Without Pooping

Well, now you know.
Woman sitting on a toilet holding a mobile phone in her hands
Antonio Hugo Photo via Getty Images
Woman sitting on a toilet holding a mobile phone in her hands

Look, it’s not the most pleasant topic. But facts are facts – more of us suffer from constipation than we’re likely willing to admit.

“It’s estimated that around 1 in every 7 adults and up to 1 in every 3 children in the UK has constipation at any one time,” shared the NHS. And the condition is as tough to experience as it is to talk about – so it’s a good idea to work out when you’ve been holding it in for a little bit too long.

Of course, everyone’s different. Some people go twice daily; other people have a regular run of once every two days. But Medical News Today shared that if you haven’t passed a bowel movement (BM) for more than a week, you might want to get checked out ― even if you feel fine.

Some people, however, will feel awful before this tipping point happens.

Why is this a problem?

Per the NHS, long-lasting constipation can lead to fissures, piles, and fecal impaction.

You likely have ‘regular’ constipation if:

  • you have not had a poo at least 3 times during the last week or you’re pooing less often than usual
  • the poo is unusually large or small and is dry, hard or lumpy
  • you are straining or in pain when you have a poo
  • you feel like you haven’t fully emptied your bowels

You can keep the issue at bay with great hydration, consuming enough fibre, exercising when you can, and taking over-the-counter laxatives if all else fails.

But sometimes, these measures might not be enough. So, we thought we’d share the symptoms that mean you should get your situation looked at by the pros:

Here are the signs you should see a doctor

According to the NHS, you might need to see a pro if you:

  • are constipated and it’s not getting better with treatment
  • are regularly constipated
  • are regularly bloated
  • have blood in your poo
  • have lost weight without trying
  • are constipated and feel tired all the time
  • are taking medicine that’s causing constipation – such as opioid painkillers
  • notice sudden changes in the how you poo (your bowel habits)
  • have tummy pain.

In this case, medical-grade laxatives, manual removal, and suppositories or enemas might need to be administrated by a pro. And with that, I hope you enjoy the rest of your Monday...