On this site you will find support and information from the nonprofit IFFGD to help you understand the causes and find treatments for chronic constipation.
Constipation is very common. Almost everyone has it at some point in their lives. Irregularity or constipation now and then may happen for many reasons. Common factors such as diet or food changes, or inactivity, will usually respond to simple lifestyle measures.
But, constipation that is long-term (chronic) or that keeps coming back requires more effort to diagnose and treat. When chronic constipation happens, a physician should be seen to look into the cause and plan treatment.
In surveys, as many as 1 in 4 persons say they are constipated, and using medical criteria, up to 1 in 6 have constipation.[1,2] It is estimated that constipation affects 42 million persons in the U.S. alone.
Surprisingly, there is no one definition of constipation that applies to all persons. People who are constipated may experience reduced stool frequency, hard stools, have difficulty passing stools or straining, or pain with bowel movements. For many people their constipation is mild or short-term. For others, constipation can be very troubling.
Hundreds of over-the-counter laxatives are purchased every year to treat constipation. Yet satisfactory treatment is often hard to find. But there is hope.
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