When to go to Urgent Care for Constipation
If you’re having mild constipation, avoid self-treatment and try drinking plenty of fluids (especially water), eating high-fiber foods, and making sure you have regular bowel movements. If your symptoms persist or get worse, consider an over-the-counter laxative, such as Senokot. For severe constipation—you haven’t had a bowel movement in three days—or any time you feel like there’s something in your rectum that shouldn’t be there, go to urgent care immediately. You might have appendicitis or another serious issue that needs immediate attention from a medical professional.
If you’ve been experiencing constipation and you have a history of bowel problems, then your symptoms may be caused by something more serious. It’s important to see a doctor if you’re suffering from constipation. Your symptoms could also be signs of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), diverticulitis, or a number of other problems that need attention from a professional ASAP. If your severe constipation doesn’t start clearing up with over-the-counter treatments in 24 hours, then it’s time to call your doctor and schedule an appointment at urgent care for further evaluation.
If your constipation is severe and doesn’t resolve itself after a couple of days, it could be cause for concern. However, it’s important not to overreact or confuse your symptoms with other, more serious conditions. If you think you may have a more serious condition like appendicitis, we recommend calling your doctor instead of going to urgent care immediately. In some cases like appendicitis, waiting several hours could lead to permanent damage or even death from an infected appendix bursting.
If your constipation is severe or accompanied by diarrhea, rectal bleeding, abdominal pain, or if you can’t have a bowel movement after trying all natural laxatives, it’s time to see your physician. If you are unable to have a bowel movement in one week (six days), it’s time to seek help from a doctor. Bacteria from fecal matter that collects around your colon could spread and cause infections in other parts of your body. Rectal bleeding may be one of these signs.