For many people with constipation the cause isn’t easily identified, but there are some recognised risk factors, including:
Constipation can vary from occasional episodes – when symptoms can range from mild to very troublesome – through to ‘chronic’ (persistent) constipation. In any of these cases, there can be troublesome symptoms that impact quality of life.
Straining in at least one out of every four bowel movements as well as the passing of small dry stools less than three times per week can indicate constipation. Sufferers can also complain of bloating, pain, lethargy and generally feeling unwell.
Common constipation symptoms - checklist
If any of these symptoms continue more than two weeks, see a healthcare professional.
If you find blood in a stool, lose weight unexpectedly, or experience vomiting, go to see your doctor immediately, as these could be signs of a more serious underlying condition.
Download this toilet diary to keep a record of your bowel movements to discuss with your doctor
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