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Why Can’t I Poop?

July 21, 2022

If you find going to the bathroom difficult, you’re not alone. One in five Americans experience constipation or find going to the toilet painful.

It’s important to remember that constipation is a symptom, not a disease. But it can be caused by several things – many of which are easy to fix. If you have problems going to the bathroom, ask yourself these questions:

  • Is your diet helping? Constipation can result from insufficient fiber in your diet. Eating too much high-fat meat, dairy products, and eggs, or rich desserts and sugary sweets can cause the problem. To remedy that, eat more high-fiber foods like vegetablesfruits, and whole grains. Also, cut back on prepared foods that tend to be low in fiber.
  • Are you drinking enough water? People often don’t drink enough water. Water and other liquids can help you stay regular.
  • Are you using too many laxatives? Some people think laxatives are a cure for constipation but using them too often can block normal regularity and even cause diarrhea. Similarly, if you use enemas too often, your body may begin to depend on them. Too many enemas may stop you from having regular bowel movements.
  • Are you exercising enough? Inactivity or long periods in bed due to illness or following surgery can cause constipation. Get more active. It will help you get more regular.
  • Are you holding back bowel movements? Repressing bowel movements when you need to go can lead to constipation. Some people prefer to have bowel movements at home. But holding them in for too long can lead to problems.
  • Are medical conditions causing a problem? Conditions like strokediabetes, or a blockage in the intestines, can cause constipation because they can affect the muscles or nerves used for regular bowel movements. A doctor can test to see if the problem is medical. Medical problems can often be treated.
  • Are your medications causing the problem? Some medicines can lead to constipation, particularly drugs used to treat depression, antacids containing aluminum or calcium, iron supplements, some allergy medicines (antihistamines), certain painkillers, some drugs for high blood pressure, including diuretics, and some drugs used to treat Parkinson’s disease.


Get the Care You Need 

If you adjust your diet or lifestyle and problems persist, you should discuss the issue with your doctor. If you do not have a doctor, Grady can help. If you need a primary care physician, book your appointment online at, use MyChart, or call (404) 616-1000. We’ll arrange an appointment at a Primary Care Center near you. Doctors there can treat most conditions and provide access to Grady’s unparalleled medical specialty expertise.


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