What is constipation?

Do you know What is constipation? What are the symptoms of constipation?

When bowel movement is less frequent or is difficult, the condition is called constipation.

After the food digestion and nutrition absorption is done, the waste matter in the large intestine / colon needs to be pushed and then expelled through the rectum.

When there is a problem in process of propulsion from the large intestine or the expulsion from the rectum, constipation happens.

Constipation is having a bowel movement less than three times per week. But Constipation is a symptom, not a disease.

Everyone may experience constipation at some time or the other but most of the time it is temporary and nothing to worry about.

If a person experiences this for 2-3 months or longer, it becomes a cause of concern as the condition is now chronic constipation which may take longer to cure.

Constipation is not being able to 'go' when you want to. But that doesn't mean that everybody should have a bowl movement every day. It depends on an individual and will vary from person to person.

Eliminating normal stool three times a day may be normal for one person while another one may do it only three times a week. And that is ok too.

If a person doesn't have a bowel movement for more than 2-3 days, he is likely to be constipated.

How does the stool look when it is passed?

 That can tell you if a person is constipated or not. See the Stool Chart given.

If it looks like type 3 or type 4, that is good, the person doesn't have constipation problem.

If it looks like type 1 or type 2, the person is constipated.

The symptoms of constipation may vary from person to person too.

When constipated, the stools are dry, hard, small and are not easily eliminated.

A constipated person may have a painful bowel movement. He may need to strain. He may feel bloated and may not feel the relief even after the bowl movement. He may feel that the evacuation has not been complete.

The longer the residual waste remains in the colon, it becomes more toxic. It stinks, it can give rise to may unhealthy symptoms such as headache, stomach ache, bloated stomach, fatigue etc. So constipation should not be neglected but needs to be treated in time.

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