Introduction: Constipation


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Constipation: Constipation is any difficulty with bowel movements or unusually dry stool. It is common in children and older age, but can affect anyone. About 2% of the population suffers from chronic constipation.

There are various symptoms of constipation. Failure to have a daily bowel movement need not necessarily indicate constipation, as everyone has different bowel patterns. Various conditions can cause constipation ranging from poor diet, aging, pregnancy, irritable bowel syndrome, and numerous other underlying conditions. Constipation can also cause diarrhea leading to misdiagnosis. Various medications can cause constipation including overuse of laxatives that can cause a vicious cycle. See also the full list of conditions reporting a symptom of constipation.

Constipation: Constipation is passage of small amounts of hard, dry bowel movements, usually fewer than three times a week. People who are constipated may find it difficult and painful to have a bowel movement. Other symptoms of constipation include feeling bloated, uncomfortable, and sluggish.

Many people think they are constipated when, in fact, their bowel movements are regular. For example, some people believe they are constipated, or irregular, if they do not have a bowel movement every day. However, there is no right number of daily or weekly bowel movements. Normal may be three times a day or three times a week depending on the person. In addition, some people naturally have firmer stools than others.

At one time or another almost everyone gets constipated. Poor diet and lack of exercise are usually the causes. In most cases, constipation is temporary and not serious. Understanding causes, prevention, and treatment will help most people find relief. 1

Researching symptoms of Constipation: Further information about the symptoms of Constipation is available including a list of symptoms of Constipation, other diseases that might have similar symptoms in differential diagnosis of Constipation, or alternatively return to research other symptoms in the symptom center.

Misdiagnosis and Constipation: Research more detailed information about misdiagnosis of Constipation, failure to diagnose Constipation, underlying causes of Constipation (possibly misdiagnosed), or research misdiagnosis of other diseases

Treatments for Constipation: Various information is available about treatments available for Constipation, prevention of Constipation, or research treatments for other diseases.

Causes of Constipation: Research more detailed information about the causes of Constipation, other possibly hidden causes of Constipation, or other general information about Constipation.

Statistics and Constipation: Various sources and calculations are available in statistics about Constipation, prevalence and incidence statistics for Constipation, and you can also research other medical statistics in our statistics center.

         Contents for Constipation:

Footnotes:
1. excerpt from Constipation: NIDDK

Last revision: Nov 10, 2003

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