Constipation is difficulty with bowel movements such as due to hard stool. Constipation does not only refer to the total absence of stool, but also includes abnormally small stool, straining with bowel movements, infrequent bowel movements, or other bowel difficulty. Causes may include dehydration, fecal impaction, and various gastrointestinal disorders ...

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Constipation can lead to large, hard stools that stretch the rectum and cause the internal sphincter muscles to relax by reflex. Watery stool builds up behind the hard stool and may leak out around the hard stool, leading to fecal incontinence. The type of constipation that is most likely to ...1

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Constipation can have a variety of simple causes such as an inactive lifestyle, poor diet, dehydration or fecal impaction. Life-threatening causes can occasionally occur such as bowel obstruction or colon cancer. See your doctor promptly for a full diagnosis ...

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Causes of Constipation

What causes constipation? Constipation can happen for many reasons, and constipation may have more than one cause at a time. Among the most common causes of constipation are

  • slow movement of stool through the colon
  • delayed emptying of the colon ...
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Diagnosis of Constipation

Diagnosis: How do doctors diagnose constipation? Doctors diagnose constipation by

  • taking a medical history
  • performing a physical exam
  • performing diagnostic tests, such as a blood test

Medical history

The medical history will include questions about your constipation, such as

  • how ...
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Causes List for Constipation

Possible causes of Constipation (or similar symptoms) may include:2

... Causes List for Constipation »

Similar Symptoms

Is it constipation? Or just hard stool? Bowel movement difficulty? There are a number of other possibilities similar to constipation. Consider whether any of these symptoms may be a more precise description of your symptoms:

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Clinical Features of Constipation

Some people think they are constipated if they donít have a bowel movement every day. However, people can have different bowel movement patterns. Some people may have three bowel movements a day. Other people may only have three bowel ...3

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Treatments for Constipation

Treatment: How do doctors treat constipation? Treatment for constipation depends on

Treatment for constipation may include the following:

Changes in eating, diet, and nutrition ...4

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Prevention of Constipation

Eating, Diet, and Nutrition: To prevent constipation, a diet with 20 to 35 grams of fiber each day helps the body form soft, bulky stool that is easier to pass. High-fiber foods include beans, whole grains and bran cereals ...5

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  1. Source: NIDDK (NIH): health-information/ health-topics/ digestive-diseases/ fecal-incontinence/ Pages/ facts.aspx
  2. Source: Algorithmically Generated List
  3. Source: NIDDK (NIH): health-information/ digestive-diseases/ constipation/ all-content
  4. ibid.
  5. Source: NIDDK (NIH): health-information/ urologic-diseases/ perineal-injury-males

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Note: This site is for informational purposes only and is not medical advice. See your doctor or other qualified medical professional for all your medical needs.