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Chronic Constipation

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What is Chronic Constipation?


Constipation is a problem with passing stool. Constipation generally means passing fewer than three stools a week or having a difficult time passing stool.

Constipation is fairly common. A lack of dietary fiber, fluids and exercise can cause constipation. But other medical conditions or certain medicines may be the cause.

Constipation is usually treated with changes in diet and exercise or with nonprescription medicines. Constipation may require medicines, changes in medicines or other treatments prescribed by a health care professional.

Long-term constipation, also called chronic constipation, may require treating another disease or condition that can cause or worsen constipation.


Symptoms of constipation include:

  • ●Fewer than three stools a week.
  • ●Hard, dry or lumpy stools.
  • ●Straining or pain when passing stools.
  • ●A feeling that not all stool has passed.
  • ●A feeling that the rectum is blocked.
  • ●The need to use a finger to pass stool.

Chronic constipation is having two or more of these symptoms for three months or longer.

When to see a doctor

Make an appointment with your health care professional if you have constipation with any of the following conditions:

  • ●Symptoms that last longer than three weeks.
  • ●Symptoms that make it difficult to do everyday activities.
  • ●Bleeding from your rectum or blood on toilet tissue.
  • ●Blood in your stools or black stools.
  • ●Other unusual changes in the shape or color of stools.
  • ●Stomach pain that doesn’t stop.
  • ●Weight loss without trying.

Source: May Clinic Website Oct. 20, 2023