Constipation
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Reviewed By:

Aiko Yoshioka, MD

Aiko Yoshioka, MD (Gastroenterology)

Dr. Yoshioka graduated from the Niigata University School of Medicine. He worked as a gastroenterologist at Saiseikai Niigata Hospital and Niigata University Medical & Dental Hospital before serving as the Deputy Chief of Gastroenterology at Tsubame Rosai Hospital and Nagaoka Red Cross Hospital. Dr. Yoshioka joined Saitama Saiseikai Kawaguchi General Hospital as Chief of Gastroenterology in April 2018.

Unnati Patel, MD, MSc

Unnati Patel, MD, MSc (Primary Care Physician)

Dr Patel graduated from the Zhejiang University School of Medicine. She worked in clinical research at the University of Illinois in Chicago and University of Nevada in Las Vegas focused on culturally adapted health interventions for preventive medicine in the community setting. Received her Master's of Science in Global Health (concentration in Health Policy) from Georgetown University, during which she worked with the WHO in Sierra Leone and Save the Children in Washington, D.C. Unnati went on to complete her family medicine residency in Chicago, Illinois at Norwegian American Hospital. | | She is currently working as a primary care physician in the city of Chicago and completing her Master's of Business Administration at the Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management and Fellowship in Leadership in Value-Based Care.

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Content updated on Jan 4, 2023

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With an easy 3-min questionnaire, Ubie's AI-powered system will generate a free report on possible causes.

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People with similar symptoms also use Ubie's symptom checker to find possible causes

  • Recent bowel motion was hard and small

  • Recent stool was hard and small

  • Find it hard to poop

  • I want to poop but don't come out

  • Recent stool was like a pellet.

  • Hard and dry stool

  • Recent stool was hard and tiny

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About the Symptom

Constipation is defined as having fewer than three bowel movements per week, accompanied by hard, dry, or lumpy stools, difficulty or discomfort in passing stools, or a sensation that not all stool has been eliminated.

When to see a doctor

Seek professional care if you experience any of the following symptoms

  • Family history of colorectal cancer

  • Edema

  • Abdominal pain

  • Decrease in stool caliber

Possible causes

Generally, Constipation can be related to:

  • Hypothyroidism

    A disorder where thyroid hormone levels in the body are abnormally low. These hormones are necessary for growth, development, and metabolism. Some symptoms include unintended weight gain, constipation, changes in menstrual cycles, dry skin, brittle nails, depression and memory issues. It can be caused by an autoimmune disorder (Hashimoto's) or from prior thyroid surgery and sometimes medications.

  • Acute porphyria

    Acute porphyria refers to a group of rare genetic disorders affecting heme production, leading to a range of symptoms.

  • Cystic fibrosis (CF)

    Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a genetic disorder that causes severe damage to the lungs, digestive system, and other organs in the body.

  • Constipation
  • Amyloidosis
  • Pheochromocytoma
  • Inguinal hernia

Related serious diseases

Sometimes, Constipation may be related to these serious diseases:

  • Intussusception

    A condition where a segment of the intestines "telescopes" into another. This can cause the intestine walls to die, so prompt medical attention is needed. It is associated with certain genetic conditions and growths, but often no clear cause is found.

  • Hepatic encephalopathy

Doctor's Diagnostic Questions

Your doctor may ask these questions to check for this symptom:

  • Have you had hard stools or constipation lately?

  • Do you frequently feel the need to have a bowel movement but can't?

  • Are your stools hard and shaped like pellets?

  • Do you have a fever?

  • Do you have blood in your stool?

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Find Similar Symptoms

Similar symptoms or complaints

References

  • Constipation

    https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/constipation/

Reviewed By:

Aiko Yoshioka, MD

Aiko Yoshioka, MD (Gastroenterology)

Dr. Yoshioka graduated from the Niigata University School of Medicine. He worked as a gastroenterologist at Saiseikai Niigata Hospital and Niigata University Medical & Dental Hospital before serving as the Deputy Chief of Gastroenterology at Tsubame Rosai Hospital and Nagaoka Red Cross Hospital. Dr. Yoshioka joined Saitama Saiseikai Kawaguchi General Hospital as Chief of Gastroenterology in April 2018.

Unnati Patel, MD, MSc

Unnati Patel, MD, MSc (Primary Care Physician)

Dr Patel graduated from the Zhejiang University School of Medicine. She worked in clinical research at the University of Illinois in Chicago and University of Nevada in Las Vegas focused on culturally adapted health interventions for preventive medicine in the community setting. Received her Master's of Science in Global Health (concentration in Health Policy) from Georgetown University, during which she worked with the WHO in Sierra Leone and Save the Children in Washington, D.C. Unnati went on to complete her family medicine residency in Chicago, Illinois at Norwegian American Hospital. | | She is currently working as a primary care physician in the city of Chicago and completing her Master's of Business Administration at the Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management and Fellowship in Leadership in Value-Based Care.

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