Changes in bowel movements

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The symptoms of constipation are hard, dry stools, with difficult, painful evacuation. Reduced mobility and a low fluid intake are key risk factors for constipation. Taking certain medication may also aid constipation.

  • Monitor bowel movements
  • Increase the intake of fibre: beans, whole-wheat bread, fruit, vegetables
  • Increase the intake of liquids
  • Facilitate access to the toilet
  • Respond quickly when the person expresses the need to go to the toilet – do not delay it
  • As far as possible, carry out some form of physical exercise, and if the person cannot move, opt for passive exercise and give abdominal massages using a clockwise motion

Important: in case of constipation and of diarrhoea, it is important to drink lots of liquid.

In case of <a href="/en/assistance/diseases/constipation">constipation</a> and of diarrhoea, it is important to drink lots of liquid.


Diarrhoea is the evacuation of overly liquid faeces, sometimes accompanied by abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. The advice of a professional should be sought if the diarrhoea contains any blood, and if the diarrhoea lasts for more than a week and/or is accompanied by abdominal pain, fever or vomiting that prevents the intake of liquids.

In the event of diarrhoea:

  • Ensure good hygiene, paying particular attention to the perineum area, as liquid faeces are an irritant
  • A soft diet is recommended
  • Add astringent foods into the diet: rice, carrot, apple, bananas, raw tomato and/or cooked fish cooked (not in broth)
  • Avoid dehydration by providing liquids: infusions, fresh juices, water. Give frequently in small amounts
  • Avoid liquids that are either very hot or very cold, as they stimulate the gut
  • Identify why the person is suffering from faecal and urinary incontinence: medication, infections or psychological disorders
  • Establish routines to control and normalise the situation as far as possible
  • Be vigilant with hygiene to prevent infections and lesions
  • Use any aid to minimise the consequences of the incontinence. Seek professional help – the nurse will assist you


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