Constipation Symptoms - Causes & Treatment

If your colon is more backed up than the interstate during rush hour, then you’re probably suffering from constipation – the most common gastrointestinal complaint in the United States

Constipation is a condition that involves infrequent or uncomfortable bowel movements. While each person is different, normal stool elimination may consist of a bowel movement three times per day or three times per week.

Each person may experience different symptoms of constipation, but the most common symptoms may include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Painful and difficult bowel movements typically involving the passage of small amounts of dry, hard stool fewer than three times per week
  • Feeling bloated, sluggish or uncomfortable

However, your constipation symptoms may resemble other medical problems or conditions, and you should always consult your doctor for a diagnosis. Some common causes of constipation include medications, not enough liquid or fiber in your diet, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), lack of exercise, or changes in habits or lifestyle.

Your doctor will determine the specific treatment for constipation based on your age, medical history and overall health, the extent of the condition, and your tolerance for specific medications or procedures.

Constipation often can be treated through dietary and lifestyle changes, such as increasing your water and juice intake and regular exercise. The treatment may include laxatives, diet modifications, or biofeedback.