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Chronic constipation is infrequent bowel movements or difficult passage of stools that persists for several weeks or longer.Constipation is generally described as having fewer than three bowel movements a week.Though occasional constipation is very common, some people experience chronic constipation that can interfere with their ability to go about their daily tasks. Chronic constipation may also cause people to strain excessively in order to have a bowel movement.Treatment for chronic consti...
Signs and symptoms of chronic constipation include: 1. Passing fewer than three stools a week 2. Having lumpy or hard stools 3. Straining to have bowel movements 4. Feeling as though there's a blockage in your rectum that prevents bowel movements 5. Feeling as though you can't completely empty the stool from your rectum 6. Needing help to empty your rectum, such as using your hands to press on your abdomen and using a finger to remove stool from your rectumConstipation may be considered chron...
Constipation most commonly occurs when waste or stool moves too slowly through the digestive tract or cannot be eliminated effectively from the rectum, which may cause the stool to become hard and dry. Chronic constipation has many possible causes.
Factors that may increase your risk of chronic constipation include: 1. Being an older adult 2. Being a woman 3. Being dehydrated 4. Eating a diet that's low in fiber 5. Getting little or no physical activity 6. Taking certain medications, including sedatives, opioid pain medications, some antidepressants or medications to lower blood pressure 7. Having a mental health condition such as depression or an eating disorder
Complications of chronic constipation include: 1. Swollen veins in your anus (hemorrhoids). Straining to have a bowel movement may cause swelling in the veins in and around your anus. 2. Torn skin in your anus (anal fissure). A large or hard stool can cause tiny tears in the anus. 3. Stool that can't be expelled (fecal impaction). Chronic constipation may cause an accumulation of hardened stool that gets stuck in your intestines. 4. Intestine that protrudes from the anus (rectal prolapse). St...
The following can help you avoid developing chronic constipation. 1. Include plenty of high-fiber foods in your diet, including beans, vegetables, fruits, whole grain cereals and bran. 2. Eat fewer foods with low amounts of fiber such as processed foods, and dairy and meat products. 3. Drink plenty of fluids. 4. Stay as active as possible and try to get regular exercise. 5. Try to manage stress. 6. Don't ignore the urge to pass stool. 7. Try to create a regular schedule for bowel movements, e...
Constipation is one of the most frequent gastrointestinal complaints in the United States. At least 2.5 million people see their doctor each year due to constipation. People of all ages can have an occasional bout of constipation.
Being constipated means your bowel movements are tough or happen less often than normal. Almost everyone goes through it at some point. Although it’s not usually serious, you'll feel much better...
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Aug 24, 2019 · Your colon’s main job is to absorb water from residual food as it’s passing through your digestive system. It then creates stool (waste). The colon’s muscles eventually propel the waste out through...
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In addition to a general physical exam and a digital rectal exam, doctors use the following tests and procedures to diagnose chronic constipation and try to find the cause: 1. Blood tests. Your doctor will look for a systemic condition such as low thyroid (hypothyroidism) or high calcium levels. 2. An X-ray. An X-ray can help your doctor determine whether our intestines are blocked and whether there is stool present throughout the colon. 3. Examination of the rectum and lower, or sigmoid, col...
Treatment for chronic constipation usually begins with diet and lifestyle changes meant to increase the speed at which stool moves through your intestines. If those changes don't help, your doctor may recommend medications or surgery.
Explore Mayo Clinic studies testing new treatments, interventions and tests as a means to prevent, detect, treat or manage this disease.
1. Increase your fiber intake. Adding fiber to your diet increases the weight of your stool and speeds its passage through your intestines. Slowly begin to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables each day. Choose whole-grain breads and cereals. Your doctor may recommend a specific number of grams of fiber to consume each day. In general, aim for 14 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories in your daily diet. A sudden increase in the amount of fiber you eat can cause bloating and gas, so start sl...
Many people use alternative and complementary medicine to treat constipation, but these approaches have not been well-studied. Using a probiotic such as bifidobacterium or lactobacillus may be helpful, but more studies are needed. Fructooligosaccharide, a sugar that occurs naturally in many fruits and vegetables, may be helpful as well. Researchers currently are evaluating the usefulness of acupuncture.
You'll likely first seek medical care for constipation from your family doctor or general practitioner. You may be referred to a specialist in digestive disorders (gastroenterologist) if your doctor suspects a more advanced case of constipation.Because appointments can be brief, and because there's often a lot of information to cover, it's a good idea to be well-prepared. Here's some information to help you get ready, and what to expect from your doctor.
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Constipation is the most common chronic gastrointestinal disorder in adults. Depending on the definition employed, it occurs in 2% to 20% of the population. It is more common in women, the elderly and children. Specifically constipation with no known cause affects females more often affected than males.