Please verify your email address to receive email notifications.

Enter your email address

We have sent you a verification email. Please check your inbox and spam folder.

Unable to send verification, please refresh and try again later.

  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Why do I always have trouble going to the toilet?

    I am constantly aware of my bowel movements because it goes from being like I have diarrhoea to being constipated with a dull pain in my belly most of the time.

    I have tried avoiding dairy to no avail.

    Are there any other foods I can try avoiding?
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 6


    Danielle Elliott

    Naturopath, Nutritionist, Western Herbal Medicine Practitioner

    I have been working as a Naturopath for over seven years and love helping people live happier and healthier lives just as much today, as … View Profile

    There are many causes of the symptoms that you are describing. It can also be a combination of what you are eating, stress or your nerves, irritation left over after a bout of gastro. It sounds like my patients that come to me with a diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome. For each of my patients it can be happening for different reasons. Gluten may cause these types of symptoms, but you would need to be strict to notice a difference. Seeing your doctor to eliminate other possible causes like colitis, crohns and coeliacs is important. Then if you end up with a diagnosis like IBS you could see a naturopath who can help you to calm down your bowel, make it more regular and help you with any dietary changes that may be needed.

  • 6


    Chris Fonda

    Dietitian, Nutritionist, Sports Dietitian

    As an Accredited Sports Dietitian, APD and athlete (springboard diver), Chris has both professional and personal experience in sport at the sub-elite and elite level.Chris … View Profile

    Sounds like you could benefit from a consultation with an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD). Your question is vary vague and there could be many causes of your diarrhoea and constipation. Without being able to perform a full dietary and lifestyle assessment it is difficult to diagnose.

    You may benefit from keeping a food and symptom diary. Write down everything you eat and when you experience any symptoms, write them down and the approximate time that it occured after eating. This can help you to pinpoint what foods may be causing your uncomfortable bowel habits.

    Taking the food and symptom diary to an APD will also be of benefit. To find an APD near you head to and click on the “find an Accredited Practising Dietitian” tab in the top right corner.

    Good luck 

  • 1


    Charity specialises in providing nutrition and dietetic services to people with disability, children and their families. Charity is an Accredited Practicing Dietitian with over 10 … View Profile

    I agree with Chris that your question is quite vague and you haven't given us much information to go on.

    Another thing to consider is that sometimes when someone is constipated they can get what is called 'overflow diarrhoea' where liquid stool passes around the hard constipated stool. When this happens it can seem like someone has diarrhoea when theyre actually still constipated!

    Without knowing any more details than you've provided I'd suggest starting by seeing your local GP for a medical assessment and then considering seeing an Accredited Practicing Dietitian (APD) in your local area to discuss how your diet might by impacting on your bowel health.

    I hope this is helpful.

  • 2


    Arlene is a registered practising dietitian, with a private practice in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney, and has built a strong business over the last … View Profile

    Your symptoms appear to be those of irritable bowel syndrom (IBS).

    Other symptoms of IBS may include:

    • Abnormal bowel frequency (more than three per day or less than three per week)
    • Abnormal stool form (lumpy/hard or loose/watery stool)
    • Abnormal stool passage, such as straining, urgency or the feeling that you have not completely emptied your rectum after a bowel movement

    Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common disorder that affects the large intestine (colon). Irritable bowel syndrome commonly causes cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea and constipation. You should seek the advice of your doctor who might send you to a gastroenterolgist for a colonoscopy to ensure a thorough diagnosis is made. Once the diagnosis is made a suitible prescriptive diet can be made. Every person reacts differenly to various food. In my practice I often use the FODMAP diet. Some people return with a diagnosis of lactose intolerence while others might be coeliac. It is impossible to give you generalised advice as all conditions are different. This also depends on lifestyle, exercise, stress, and present food intake. I generally obtain excellent results when this condition is tackled methodically.

answer this question

You must be a Health Professional to answer this question. Log in or Sign up .

You may also like these related questions

Empowering Australians to make better health choices