U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Constipation

Definition and Facts for Constipation
Constipation is a condition in which you have fewer than three bowel movements a week, or hard, dry and small bowel movements that are painful or difficult to pass.​
Symptoms and Causes of Constipation
The most common symptoms of constipation are fewer than-normal bowel movements, stool that is difficult or painful to pass, and pain or bloating in your abdomen.​
Diagnosis of Constipation
To find out why you're constipated, your doctor will take your medical history and perform a physical exam. He or she may also order certain tests.​
Treatment for Constipation
Treatments for constipation include malking changes in your eating, diet, and nutrition; exercise and lifestyle changes; medicines and supplements; biofeedback; and surgery.​
Eating, Diet, and Nutrition for Constipation
Your eating and diet may affect your chances of becoming constipated. If your diet has too little fiber, you may get constipated.​
Clinical Trials for Constipation
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) and other components of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) conduct and support basic and clinical research into many digestive disorders.​​

This content is provided as a service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), part of the National Institutes of Health. The NIDDK translates and disseminates research findings through its clearinghouses and education programs to increase knowledge and understanding about health and disease among patients, health professionals, and the public. Content produced by the NIDDK is carefully reviewed by NIDDK scientists and other experts.

This information is not copyrighted. The NIDDK encourages people to share this content freely.