What is Constipation?
This is a common condition characterized by infrequent bowel movements that are difficult to pass. Constipation is often brought on by a number of lifestyle factors, including diet, stress, and pregnancy in addition to other influences. Often, constipation acts as a symptom of a larger and more serious condition
You are considered constipated if you have two or more of the following for at least 3 months:
- Straining during a bowel movement more than 25% of the time
- Hard stools more than 25% of the time
- Incomplete evacuation more than 25% of the time
- Two or fewer bowel movements in a week
Most people do not need extensive testing to diagnose constipation. Only a small number of patients with constipation have a more serious medical problem. If you have constipation for more than two weeks, you should see a doctor so he or she can determine the source of your problem and treat it. If constipation is caused by colon cancer, early detection and treatment is very important.
Treatment for constipation depends on the cause, severity, and duration of the constipation and may include one or more of the following:
- changes in eating, diet, and nutrition.
- exercise and lifestyle changes.