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Chronic Constipation

Some people are constipated for weeks, months, or years, and others have bouts of constipation that come and go over long periods of time. Chronic constipation may have many causes, including:

  • Diet, especially if you do not include enough fruits, vegetables, and fiber in your diet each day.
  • Medicines, such as antidepressants, water pills (diuretics), and iron.
  • Changes in your daily routines from travel or changes in your school or job, which can decrease your level of physical activity and decrease your opportunity to have a bowel movement.
  • Irritable bowel syndrome.

If you have chronic or recurrent constipation, see your doctor to make sure your constipation is not caused by an underlying disease. If you have been checked by a doctor, be aware of new or more intense discomfort or changes in the size, shape, or hardness of your stools. If constipation does not improve after a few days of home treatment, talk to your doctor.

Recommended Related to Digestive Disorders

Understanding Pancreatitis Prevention

Limiting yourself to one or two alcoholic drinks per day may significantly lessen the chances of developing alcoholic pancreatitis. Once you have had pancreatitis, though, you should not drink at all; any drinking carries the risk of new attacks. Controlling your weight and maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle may prevent gallstones and help reduce the risk of gallstone pancreatitis.  

Read the Understanding Pancreatitis Prevention article > >

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer David Messenger, MD
Last Revised October 6, 2010

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: October 06, 2010
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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