This can affect anyone, but is commoner in people of all ages with learning disabilities.

Signs of constipation to look out for

  • Too few poos – three times a week or less
  • Poos look wrong – small and hard like rabbit droppings, or runny and foul smelling, due to leakage around a solid blockage
  • Poos hard to move on – need to heave and strain to shift them out, with tummy ache and can cause blood in the poo, or on wiping

What to do

  • Encourage more clear fluids to drink, especially water, so that wee is pale straw coloured rather than dark
  • Encourage more fruit, vegetables and fibre foods to eat, like wholemeal cereals and bread
  • Encourage more exercise if possible
  • See the family doctor, who can prescribe medicines if need be

Books Beyond Words have developed a picture story book called ‘The Trouble with Poo”, which can be read with people with learning disabilities, to help them to recognise constipation and to know when to seek help. For more information click here.

You can find other resources and information using our resources section below.