Many people have a life-long tendency toward constipation while others tend to have occasional constipation alternating with a normal bowel pattern or even diarrhea. While mild and intermittent constipation in these individuals is usually not a cause for concern, a doctor should be consulted under the following circumstances:
A new onset of constipation or recent change in bowel habits.
Moderate to severe constipation, or constipation that does not respond to self-treatment with simple bulking agents that provide fiber.
Constipation that is accompanied by rectal bleeding, abdominal pain and cramps, nausea and vomiting, and involuntary weight loss.
Constipation during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.
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