Constipation is defined medically as fewer than three stools per week and severe constipation as less than one stool per week. Constipation usually is caused by the slow movement of stool through the colon. There are many causes of constipation including:
- Poor bowel habits
- Low fiber diets
- Abuse of laxatives
- Hormonal disorders and
- Diseases primarily of other parts of the body that also affect the colon
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
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Digestive Disorders: Common Misconceptions
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The part of the large intestine that serves to remove water from digested food and let the remaining material, solid waste called...
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Pregnancy (Week By Week, Trimesters)
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Hemorrhoids (Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments)
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Intestinal Gas (Belching, Bloating, Flatulence)
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Constipation - Home Remedies and Treatments
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Treatment & Diagnosis
- Tummy Trouble FAQs
- Pain FAQs
- Constipation FAQs
- Lead Poisoning Symptoms
- Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA): 17 Warning Signs of Serious Complications
- Abdominal Pain: Questions to Ask Your Doctor
- Abdominal Pain Causes
- Digestive Disease Myths
- Travel Medicine Kit
- Pharmacy Visit, How To Get The Most Out of Your Visit
- Rifaximin (Xifaxan) for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Treatment
- Dukan Diet
- Ask the Experts - Gastroentrology (Digestion)
- Ask the Experts - Gastroenterology (GI Testing)
- Tegaserod (Zelnorm)...New Drug for Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Medications & Supplements
- magnesium citrate (Citrate of Magnesia, Citroma)
- polyethylene glycol 3350 (Miralax, Glycolax)
- senna (sennosides; Senokot, Senokot EXTRA and others)
- sorbitol (Ora-Sweet SF, PCCA Sweet-SF, PCCA Syrup Vehicle, PCCA-Plus, Numoisyn)
- lactulose (Constulose, Enulose, Generlac, Cholac, Constilac)
- linaclotide (Linzess)
- docusate (Correctol, Colace, Dulcolax, Phillips Liquid-Gels, and many others)
- bulk-forming laxatives - oral
- bisacodyl (Dulcolax, Correctol, Bisacolax, Bisac-Evac, Alophen, Fleet Bisacodyl, Feen-A-Mint)
- magnesium hydroxide - oral
- stool softeners/stimulant combination laxatives - oral
- iron w/stool softener sustained-release - oral
- bisacodyl suppository and enema (Dulcolax, Biscolax, Bisac-Evac, Fleet Enema, Laxative)
- dong quai (Angelica sinensis, Chinese Angelica, Tang Kuei, Tan Kue Bai Zhi, Tanggwi, Toki)
- glycerin (Fleet Suppository, Pedia-Lax Suppository, Colace Suppository)
- irritant or stimulant laxatives - oral
- lubiprostone, Amitiza
- flaxseed (linum usitatissimum) - oral
- senna-rectal, Senokot
- Turnera diffusa (Damiana)
- Polyethylene Glycol (PEG) and Electrolytes
- polycarbophil - oral, Equalactin, Konsyl Fiber
- Hydrocodone vs. Hydromorphone (Differences between Side Effects)
- tegaserod, Zelnorm
Prevention & Wellness
- Trouble With Constipation? One Simple Step May Help
- 1 in 3 Seniors Take Sleep Aids
- When Is an Opioid Safe to Take?
- Health Tip: Help Manage Constipation
- New Bowel Disorder Treatments Needed, FDA Says
- Health Tip: Watch for Constipation in Babies
- Fecal Transplant Shows Early Promise Against Autism
- Half Report Severe Side Effects From Breast Cancer Therapy
- Trulance Approved for Chronic Constipation
- Stress May Explain Digestive Issues in Kids With Autism
- Know the Risks, Warning Signs of Ovarian Cancer
- Health Tip: Concerned About Constipation?
- Lots of Red Meat May Be Tied to Gut Disorder in Men
- Special Diet May Be Boon for Kids With Crohn's, Colitis
- New Parkinson's Drug May Combat Movement Difficulties
- Many Misuse OTC Sleep Aids: Survey
- Gastro Issues May Be Downside to Weight-Loss Surgery
- Don't Let Germs Spoil Your Holiday Getaway
- Drug Stelara May Ease Crohn's Disease
- Constipation, Kidney Disease May Be Linked, New Research Shows
- The Scoop About Healthy Poop
- Review Says Calcium Supplements Won't Harm the Heart
- What's Behind the Gluten-Free Trend?
- Can Acupuncture Ease Severe Constipation?
- Health Tip: When Potty Training Doesn't Go Well
- Flint's Lead-Contamination Crisis 'Entirely Preventable'
- FAQ: New 'Stomach Pump' Weight Loss Device
- FDA Approves New Weight-Loss Device
- Health Tip: Laxatives Have Side Effects
- Ocaliva Approved for Rare Liver Disease
- FDA Approves New Drug to Treat Bladder Cancer
- Health Tip: Watch Medication Use During Pregnancy
- Restrictive Diets May Cause Thyroid Troubles in Young Kids
- Health Tip: How You Change During Early Pregnancy
- Chemo May Prolong Lives of Some Brain Cancer Patients: Study
- Stomach Troubles Not Linked to Autism, Study Finds
- New IBS Drug Eases Stomach Pain and Diarrhea for Some: Study
- Psych Therapies May Have Long-Term Benefits for Irritable Bowel Patients
- FDA Tightens Rules for Using Mesh Implants in Women's Surgery
- The Rise of the Do-It-Yourself Fecal Transplant
- Oxytocin 'Love Hormone' Nasal Spray Shows Promise in Kids With Autism
- Chronic Constipation May Signal Serious Disorder
- Health Tip: Should I Talk to my Doctor About Gas?
- Raplixa Approved to Control Surgical Bleeding
- Autism Tied to Higher Risk for Gut Troubles in Children
- Study Links Antibiotics to Digestive Complication in Infants
- Health Tip: Risk Factors for Constipation
- Health Tip: Trouble Sleeping During Pregnancy
- Akynzeo Approved for Side Effects of Chemotherapy
- Laxative Type Might Influence Colon Cancer Risk, Study Finds
- Movantik Approved for Constipation From Opioids
- IBS, Chronic Constipation: New Guidelines Issued
- Doctors Often Suggest Pricier, Brand-Name Meds for Reflux: Study
- Gastro Woes More Common in Kids With Autism: Review
- Bowel Illnesses Sometimes Coincide in Kids
- Health Tip: If Your Child is Constipated
- Probiotic Drops Might Ease Colic: Study
- Alternative Therapies Widely Used for Autism
- FDA OKs 2-Drug Combo Treatment for Advanced Melanoma
- FDA Warns Against Misuse of Laxatives
- FDA Approves New Drug to Treat COPD
- Anoro Ellipta Approved for COPD
- Stomach Troubles Common for Kids With Autism, Study Confirms
- Kids With ADHD Often Prone to Bowel Problems: Study
- Brintellix Approved for Major Depressive Disorder
- Health Tip: Easing the Discomfort of Late Pregnancy
- Health Tip: Is Diverticular Disease Causing Problems?
- Bowel Issues Affect 3 Out of 4 Pregnant Women
- Procedure for Incontinence in Women May Lose Effectiveness With Time
- Health Tip: How Did I Get Hemorrhoids?
- High-Fiber Diet Helps Heart Too, Expert Says
- Health Tip: Help Prevent Constipation
- Constipation Treatments Not Equally Effective: Review
- FDA OKs First OTC Remedy for Overactive Bladder
- Long-Term Use of Some Antipsychotics Not Warranted in Older Adults: Study
- Brain Biofeedback May Help Bedwetting
- Many Children With Autism Have Other Health Problems, Study Says
- New Drug Might Help Treat Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- New IBS Drug Linzess Approved
- Treating Irritable Bowel Poses Challenges
- FDA Approves New Overactive Bladder Drug
- Levaquin Approved to Treat or Prevent Plague
- Bedwetting Misunderstood but Often Treatable
- Lower Risk for Bowel Obstruction With Less Invasive Surgery: Study
- Incontinence Drugs: Benefits and Harms Compared
- Health Tip: Why Am I Constipated?
- Statin Risks Outweighed by Statin Benefits
- Health Tip: Help Manage IBS Symptoms
- Health Tip: Exercising During Pregnancy
- Health Tip: Common Reasons for Potty Training 'Accidents'
- Erivedge Approved to Treat Basal Cell Carcinoma
- Study: Constipation May Cause Bed-wetting
- Common Gastro Disease Occurs Even With High-Fiber Diet
- Drug Approved for Advanced Kidney Cancer
- Weekly Shot Gets FDA Nod for Type 2 Diabetes
- Fiber May Not Prevent Diverticular Disease
- Celiac Disease in Women Linked to Depression Risk
- Some 'Gluten-Free' Beers Really Aren't: Study
- FDA Reconsiders Weight Loss Drug Qnexa
- Very Restricted Diet May Reduce Symptoms of IBS
- Onfi Approved to Treat Severe Seizures
- Health Tip: Does My Pain Mean Endometriosis?
- FDA Approves First Combo Drug for Diabetes, Cholesterol
- Vegetarian Diet May Prevent Diverticular Disease
- Do Probiotics Relieve Constipation in Children?
- Experimental Drug Targets Overactive Bladder
- Experimental Drug May Treat Chronic Constipation
- Qnexa Yields Up to Nearly a 10% Weight Loss: Study
- People With Signs of Parkinson's Wait to See Doctor
- Bulking Agent May Help Fecal Incontinence
- 2 Weeks of Antibiotic Therapy Relieves IBS
- Hyland's Teething Tablets Recall: Possible Poisoning Risk
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome in the Brain
- New Pain Drug May Be Alternative to Oxycodone
- Weight Loss Pill Also Lowers Blood Pressure
- Fibromyalgia Gets Worse During Menstruation
- Treating Non-motor Symptoms of Parkinson's
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