Constipation is a common condition that affects people of all ages. It can mean that you’re not passing stools regularly, or you’re having difficulty passing them. Or you may even feel an uncomfortable fullness even after you’ve had a bowel movement.8,20
There are many things that can cause constipation. Sometimes there’s no obvious reason for it.21
The most common causes include:21
In much rarer cases, constipation may be caused by a medical condition.21
If you think you’re constipated, there are many things you can do to help:8,21
If you think your baby is constipated, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
There are many simple things you can do that might help:
If you think your child is constipated, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
In the meantime, simple lifestyle changes may help:
Talk to your doctor if:20
Many people find that making changes to their diet and lifestyle can improve their symptoms. If these don’t help, laxatives are often used.21
There are different types of laxatives available:33
Laxatives are available to buy from pharmacies and supermarkets. They’re also available on prescription from a doctor.21
Like all medicines, Lactulose (Duphalac®) may cause side effects in some people, but many have no side effects or only mild ones that only last a few days.4
The following side effects have been reported with Lactulose (Duphalac®):4
Very common (may affect more than 1 in 10 people)
Common (may affect up to 1 in 10 people)
Nausea or vomiting
Uncommon (may affect up to 1 in 100 people)
Electrolyte imbalance due to diarrhea
When you start taking Lactulose (Duphalac®), you might experience flatulence. This will usually ease off after a few days.4
If you find that the side effects don’t go away, or bother you, try reducing your dose, or talk to your doctor or pharmacist.4
Yes. Because lactulose is not absorbed by the body, it can be taken when you’re pregnant.4
Yes. Because lactulose is not absorbed by the body, Lactulose (Duphalac®) can be taken while breastfeeding.4
A prebiotic promotes the growth of ‘good bacteria’ in the gut. It may also suppress the growth of ‘bad bacteria’.4,18
Unlike other ‘probiotics’, in which good bacteria are introduced in the gut, prebiotic such as Lactulose (Duphalac®) exerts its prebiotic effect by promoting the growth of good bacteria that is already present in the gut by increasing their food supply. 4,18
Suppressing the growth of bad bacteria can lead to many health-promoting effects such as improvement in the balance of the intestinal flora.4,18
Travelling can be a challenge when you’re constipated, but there are many things you can do that can help you feel comfortable, such as drinking plenty of water, filling up on fiber-rich snacks, trying to stay active and sticking to a routine.
Perhaps the most important thing you can do is be prepared. If you’ve had problems with constipation whilst travelling before, or if you’re already experiencing constipation, it might help to start taking medication before you go.