Chronic constipation is more challenging to treat than common simple constipation.
The information on this site, from the nonprofit IFFGD, aims to help you understand the causes and find treatments for chronic constipation.
Almost everyone has constipation at some point in their lives. 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]
Irregularity or simple 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.
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 is chronic and 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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