What is Constipation?

Constipation is a difficulty in defaecation. It can occur either because stools are too hard or too large, because you rarely feel the urge to go or because you get the urge, but the sphincter doesn’t relax to let you.

It can be caused by any condition that impairs colonic peristalsis or anal relaxation, or interrupts the messages from the brain to the colon.

Are you constipated?

  • Do you often have to strain to pass faeces?

  • Do you often feel that you want to go but can’t?

  • Are you stools usually too hard or too large to pass?

  • Can you go several days without opening your bowels?

  • Do you rarely get the urge to go?

If you answer to more than one of these, then you may be constipated.

The world record for constipation was held by a man who resisted the temptation of the toilet for 368 days. He was said to become weak after delivering 36 litres of faeces on June 21st 1901, but there was much rejoicing in the family.


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