Constipation is a very common condition that can have several different meanings to different people. Typically, constipation is defined as stool containing less than 200mL of water per day. Others define constipation as number of bowel movements per week, and normal can range from several per day to as few as three per week. Everyone has a slightly different set point and just because someone does not stool everyday, this does not mean they are constipated. Finally, some define constipation as the symptoms of straining, pushing, and difficulty with evacuation.
There are many different patterns and causes of constipation. Most can be treated with simple remedies such as eating right, drinking plenty of fluid, and increasing dietary fiber. Constipation that does not respond to this may be treated by occasional laxative medications, though long term use can be problematic. A large number of medications may worsen constipation, and there are a number of medical conditions that are associated with constipation.
Treatment for Constipation
To learn more, ask your doctor about how best to manage your constipation. There are a number of over the counter treatments that your doctor can determine which one is best for you. In general, drinking plenty of fluid and increasing dietary fiber are often the first steps to alleviating most forms of constipation.
For more information, visit the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons website