Constipation - Difficult or infrequent passage of feces, hardness of stool, or a feeling of incomplete evacuation.
The normal frequency of bowel movements varies widely — from three a day to three a week. What's normal for you may not be normal for someone else. In general, though, you're probably constipated if you pass hard stools less than three times a week. In some cases you may also have a bloated feeling or abdominal cramping or pain.
Fortunately, a few common-sense lifestyle changes, including getting more exercise, eating high-fiber foods and drinking plenty of fluids, especially water, can go a long way toward preventing or alleviating many cases of constipation.
Signs and symptoms
Not having a bowel movement every day doesn't necessarily mean you're constipated. You're likely constipated, however, if you:
• Pass a hard stool fewer than three times a week
• Strain frequently during bowel movements
• Have abdominal bloating or discomfort