Constipation can mean having a reduction in frequency or to the passage of hard stools.

Constipation can have a different meaning to different people and can comprise a reduction in frequency or to the passage of hard stools. For some people it is the difficulty of the act of going to the toilet and for others the feeling that the abdomen would be more comfortable if only a stool could be passed. There is much variability in the frequency of defaecation that even in the normal situation can vary between three times daily and every five days. Most people get used to their usual bowel habit which often stays regular for many years and it is often a change in the usual bowel habit that causes concern. Our consultants will listen carefully to your concerns and arrange appropriate investigations for those who need it. It is important to recognise that a change in bowel habit can signify underlying disease including bowel cancer. Once investigation is complete, and if there are no serious underlying conditions then the problem can be managed through dietary advice alone or with appropriate dietary supplementation or tablet treatment.

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