Cause of your symptoms

Your change in bowel habit may be related to changes in your life style and diet.


Try the treatments outlined below for two more weeks.


Eat more roughage and if necessary take a laxative to make your stools softer and easier to pass. A pharmacist could advise on suitable treatments.

What now?

If you get better nothing else needs to be done. However, if your constipation persists for two more weeks or recurs after stopping treatment, see your GP.

Summary of your symptoms

Date checker completed: Monday 20th May 2024

You are over 50 years old and have a change in bowel habit to decreased frequency and harder drier stools but no rectal bleeding or abdominal pain

Additional information if you see your GP

Your GP will probably examine your tummy and back passage and do a blood test and if these were normal it would be reasonable to advise a further short period of treat watch and wait. However, if your symptoms did not quickly settle you would probably be referred to a routine clinic for further investigations.
In healthy patients aged 50-70years old, not having previous colonic investigations a single flexible sigmoidoscopy has the added benefit of detecting incidental significant polyps which if removed may prevent a bowel cancer developing in the future - ‘opportunistic screening'

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