Constipation signs and symptoms

Tackling the taboo.

Did you know that constipation affects nearly a quarter of the Canadian population? Though women are more likely to experience constipation than men, being “backed up” is something that almost everyone has faced at one time or another. So why all the embarrassment? What’s really going on when you’re constipated?

 

A primer on constipation: Signs and symptoms.

Before treating constipation, it’s best to make sure that you actually have it. Start with this quick checklist. If you answer “yes” to having any two of the following symptoms for at least 12 weeks, chances are that you’re constipated.

  • You have irregular or infrequent bowel movements without any apparent reason
  • You strain or have difficulty going
  • Your stool is hard or lumpy
  • You feel that there is a blockage or an obstruction
  • You experience cramping, abdominal fullness, bloating or a lack of energy
  • You aren’t going at your usual time
  • You have fewer than three bowel movements per week

How did you get here?

The symptoms of constipation are no fun. What are the causes?

Find out