| Share
 

constipation

constipation, infrequent or difficult passage of feces. Constipation may be caused by the lack of adequate roughage or fluid in the diet, prolonged physical inactivity, certain drugs, or emotional disturbance. Sudden unexplained changes in bowel habits can be a symptom of a serious disorder (such as lower intestinal obstruction by a growth) and should receive medical attention. Most cases of constipation can be relieved by following a diet that includes adequate roughage and fluid and by establishing regular habits of evacuation. The continued use of laxatives is inadvisable. Daily bowel movements are not essential; many persons suffer from the harm caused by constant use of laxatives and enemas in an effort to establish the desired regularity.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

More on constipation from Infoplease:

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Pathology


Premium Partner Content
HighBeam Research
Documents Images and Maps Reference
(from Newspapers, Magazines, Journals, Newswires, Transcripts and Books)

Research our extensive archive of more than 80 million articles from 6,500 publications.

Additional search results provided by HighBeam Research, LLC. © Copyright 2005. All rights reserved.

24 X 7

Private Tutor

Click Here for Details
24 x 7 Tutor Availability
Unlimited Online Tutoring
1-on-1 Tutoring