Chronic constipation is infrequent bowel movements or the 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 excessive straining to have a bowel movement and other signs and symptoms.
Treatment for chronic constipation depends on the underlying cause. Though, in some cases, a cause for chronic constipation is never found.
Signs and symptoms of chronic constipation include:
Constipation may be considered chronic if you’ve experienced two or more of these symptoms for the last three months.
Constipation most commonly occurs when waste or stool moves too slowly through the digestive tract, causing it to become hard and dry.
Chronic constipation has many causes:
There can also be problems with the nerves around the colon and rectum, difficulty in engaging the muscles involved in elimination and/or conditions that affect hormones in the body, all which may cause or contribute to constipation.
Tests and procedures used to diagnose chronic constipation may include:
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 Digestive CARE physician may recommend medications or surgery.
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