Q: Hello Dr Ketch….I have been having very strong stool since 3 months now that I had my baby. I try to drink enough water to no avail. I noticed that blood comes out with the stool especially when it is strong like that. And the pain is always very excruciating. In fact I get scared of eating because of fear of going to empty my bowel. What should I do? Do you think it’s cancer or something?
A: Do I think this is cancer? Not necessarily. We’ll start with the simple things first.
Constipation is when there are less than 3 bowel movements in a week. There are a couple of factors that could contribute to this: your diet, the amount of water you drink daily, the amount of exercise you have per day, whether you hold back from defecating when you feel the urge, whether one is pregnant or has Diabetes Mellitus etc.
It is possible that the stool is so hard that it has caused a tear of the skin lining the anus (anal fissure) leading to the blood seen with the stool.
I’m glad to hear that you’re drinking sufficient amounts of water. This is important. Other things that can help include eating more fibre (fruits and veggies), exercising for at least 150 minutes weekly, reduce alcohol and caffeinated drinks (they cause dehydration) and reduce processed food intake. It’s also a good habit to try going to the loo (toilet) as soon as you feel the urge.
If these self-help tips do not help, please see your doctor to rule out other causes like Diabetes Mellitus etc
For more on this, please click on https://chatwithdrketch.com/2015/01/23/daily-health-tips-difficulty-with-passing-stool/
Q: Hi Doc, what can cause a baby of 2 months plus not to pass excreta for about 5 days. Though I am doing exclusive breastfeeding for him and he sucks very much. During his birth, he weighed 4.3kg.
A: In contrast with the case discussed above for adults, in exclusively breastfed children, there can be episodes of lots of days without defaecation. This is not described as c onstipation. In children, the focus is more on the texture of the faeces when the child eventually defaecates as opposed to how often he goes. The ‘long duration’ in between stooling for exclusively breastfed babies is because the nutrients of breast milk are usually, practically all absorbed, leaving nothing to be excreted. Provided the eventual stool produced is not hard, then your baby should be okay. Where in doubt, it never hurts to see your doctor.
For more on constipation in babies, please click on https://chatwithdrketch.com/2014/10/15/daily-health-tips-is-my-2-month-old-baby-constipated/
Have a great night, y’all and a fabulous week ahead 😀