How Long Does Constipation Last (Why)?

Exact Answer: 1 Week To 3 Months

Constipation does not have a single definition. Many patients experience one or more symptoms, such as irregular stools (less than three per week), hard stools, incomplete evacuation, straining when defecating, ineffective defecation, or spending too much time on the toilet.

Constipation can be caused by a variety of factors, including eating the incorrect foods, not eating the proper foods, inadequate fibre intake, and disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease.

When it comes to analysing someone who suffers from constipation, knowing the difference between acute and chronic constipation is essential since it will decide the care strategy and treatment plan.

How Long Does Constipation Last? 

Type Of IllnessDuration
Acute3-4 Weeks
Chronic1 Year & More

Constipation means irregular bowel movements. However, the frequency with which you go varies greatly from person to person. Some people have bowel movements several times a day, while others have them once or twice per week.

Whatever bowel pattern you have is unique and normal for you – as long as you don’t deviate too much from it. Whatever your bowel habit, one thing is certain: the longer you wait before going, the harder it is for stool/poop to pass.

Constipation occurs when your colon collects too much water from feces, causing the stool to dry out and become difficult to push out of the body. To back up a little, nutrients are absorbed as food passes through the gastrointestinal tract.

The partially chewed food that remains travels from the small intestine to the colon, also known as the large intestine. The colon gathers water from the excrement, resulting in stool, which is a hard material.

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Food may travel too slowly through the digestive tract if you have constipation. This allows the colon to absorb water from the waste for an excessive amount of time. The stool becomes stiff, tight, and difficult to force out.

Acute and chronic constipation are the two main types of constipation. The primary distinction between chronic and acute constipation is the duration of constipation. Acute constipation lasts for two to three weeks, while chronic constipation lasts for three months or longer.

Why Constipation Last For That Long?

If it’s acute constipation it will last for 1 or 2 weeks. And if it’s chronic constipation it can last around 3-4 months. 

Acute constipation appears suddenly and lasts for several days. Medication, obstruction, dehydration, excessive activity, or a missed bowel movement are the most common causes. When the womb presses against the gut, it might cause it to grow in pregnant women.

Chronic constipation is defined as the occurrence of two or more of the following symptoms in eight weeks. The first indicator is every week, you should have three bowel motions.

Then, each week, you are facing one episode of faecal incontinence. You are having large stools in the rectum or seen on abdominal inspection. Normal constipation is not the same as chronic constipation.

Constipation is a common ailment that lasts only a few days and has a quick onset of symptoms. The symptoms of chronic constipation, on the other hand, linger for a longer period, usually three months or more, and in some cases, years.

It is a long-term illness that can harm a person’s social and professional life. It is usually not eased by over-the-counter laxatives or lifestyle changes, and medical treatment may be required.

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Constipation is a normal occurrence, but in rare circumstances, people will develop chronic constipation, which interferes with their ability to perform daily chores.

Conclusion

Constipation is a frequent problem affecting people of all ages. It could indicate that you aren’t passing stools regularly or that you aren’t able to empty your bowel.

Constipation can also induce hard, lumpy stools, as well as stools that are particularly large or little. The degree of constipation differs from individual to person. Many people only have constipation for a brief period.

However, for many others, it can be a chronic illness that causes severe pain and discomfort and harms their quality of life. Hence it’s necessary to consult with a doctor if you have symptoms. 

References

  1. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1463-1318.2004.00669.x
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0738399107000572
  3. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10620-006-9308-9
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