The two major factors for defining constipation are the frequency of bowel movements and their firmness. One sign that your digestive system is functioning optimally is that you have at least one bowel movement per day.
However, bowel movements that are difficult to pass, very firm, or made up of small rabbit-like pellets qualify as constipation, even if they occur every day.
Other symptoms related to constipation can include bloating, distension, abdominal pain, or a sense of incomplete emptying.
If you don't have these symptoms but you rely on extra fiber, a stool softener, a laxative, or some other method to prevent these symptoms, then you also have constipation.
Constipation affects digestion and can contribute to the malabsorption of nutrients, which can lead to a wide spectrum of health problems. It can also delay the removal of waste from the body, and not just from the colon.
How can you take control of constipation and live a healthier life?
Listen in as Stephen Wangen, MD, shares digestion basics and everything you need to know about constipation.