Constipation

Constipation is defined as a difficulty emptying the bowels. More specifically, this means having less than three bowel movements per week and/or having hard and dry stools. Constipation can be chronic or only happen from time to time, and may be caused by diet, medication or pregnancy.

Between 12% and 19% of Canadians suffer from chronic constipation.

Symptoms

  • Feeling of abdominal bloating
  • Gastrointestinal discomfort
  • Gas
  • Indigestion
  • Decrease in frequency of bowel movements
  • Hard and dry stools that are difficult to expel
  • Loss of appetite
  • Pain or pressure in the stomach
  • Rectal bleeding following exertion

Types

  • Slow transit constipation
  • Evacuation constipation

Complications

  • Hemorrhoids
  • Anal fissures
  • Bowel obstruction
  • Fecal incontinence
  • Fecaloma (accumulation of dry stools in the rectum)
  • Rectal prolapse (the rectum wall slides out of the anus)
  • Diverticular disease (hernia in the intestine)

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Constipation

Constipation is defined as a difficulty emptying the bowels. More specifically, this means having less than three bowel movements per week and/or having hard and dry stools. Constipation can be chronic or only happen from time to time, and may be caused by diet, medication or pregnancy.
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