Constipation is the infrequent passage of bowel motion, less than what is usually normal for that individual. This is often accompanied by passage of hard stool.
Our stools suppose to be solid, but moist and easy to pass out. It is a very common problem. It is a symptom, and not a disease in it self.
The total absence of bowel movement or opening is called Obstipation. It needs to be differentiated from passage of hard infrequent stools.
We all vary in the frequency at which we open our bowel, as well as in how hard our stool is.
Some open their bowel once daily, others twice daily and yet some only after one or two days.
Generally, if you start passing hard stools less than three times in a week, you can be said to be constipated.
It is an indicator (symptom) that some thing is not right about the function of the large bowel like in people with irritable bowel syndrome, or low thyroid function.
Other problems that can present as infrequent passage of hard stool could include crohn's disease.
In fact, this may be the end result of some problems affecting the large bowel and some times else were. It can occur in new born baby, infants and adults. It is not on its own harmful as some think. By not opening your bowel, you will not become piosoned.
infrequent passage of bowel motions varies in severity from mild to severe or chronic constipation .
In the United States alone, about four (4) million persons suffer from this problem.
The picture is similar in the UK, where about one (1) million at any given time suffers with severe difficulty with passage of stools, costing the NHS about 50 million pounds annually.
Read about the causes of constipation next.
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