All A to Z Topics

Constipation

Syndication_logo
Introduction
Constipation is a common condition that affects people of all ages. It can mean that you are not passing stools (faeces) regularly, or you are unable to completely empty your bowels.
Symptoms of constipation
When you are constipated, passing stools (faeces) becomes more difficult and less frequent than usual.
Causes of constipation
Constipation usually occurs when stools remain in the colon (large intestine) too long and the colon absorbs too much water from them, causing the stools to become hard and dry.
Diagnosing constipation
Constipation is a very common condition. Your GP will not usually need to carry out any tests or procedures, but will confirm a diagnosis of constipation based on your medical history and your symptoms.
Treating constipation
Treatment for constipation depends on the cause, how long you have had the condition and how severe your symptoms are.
Complications with constipation
Constipation rarely causes any complications or long-term health problems. Treatment is usually effective, particularly if it is started promptly.
Preventing constipation
Although constipation is common, you can take several steps to prevent it, including making diet and lifestyle changes.
See what the doctor sees with Map of Medicine
See what your doctor sees, find out what is happening with your Constipation treatment and what the next steps might be.