Definition Constipation


By Paul Schneider Jr
Definition constipation

How do you know if you are constipated? When stools are dry and hard, making bowel movements difficult, that is constipation.

Stool should always be soft and easy to pass. One result for dry stools is that bowel movements become less frequent. Let me explain.

A Constipation Definition and the
Frequency of Bowel Movements


One of the earmarks of constipation is that a person has fewer than 3 bowel movements a week.

If a person has a daily bowel movement, or even up to three formed stools a day, this is a sign of healthy bowel activity.

If an individual does not have a bowel movement every day or two, then they may need to consider dietary adjustments, or take a magnesium supplement to help keep their bowels regular.

Is constipation a common problem?

Almost everyone has a bout with constipation at some point in their lives. It may be acute or chronic.

Acute constipation is defined as constipation that comes on suddenly and goes away almost as quickly. Others, however, suffer from chronic constipation.

This is the more painful and dangerous form of constipation, one that may go on for years.

Anywhere from 15 to 25 percent of Americans have a problem with constipation. Certain circumstances increase the likelihood of constipation, including:

  • Pregnancy
  • Surgery
  • Taking pain medication
  • Certain health conditions

Water and constipation

Stool should be at least 75 percent water. This makes stool soft, slippery and easy to pass.

If it takes more than a minute or two to have a bowel movement, then most likely the stool is too dry.

Dry stool may be the result of being dehydrated, where the person needs to drink more water and less diuretics like coffee, tea and other caffeinated beverages.

Another common cause of dry stool is that stool stays too long in the colon. Since one of the colon's jobs is to extract water to turn a mush into formed stool, when stool stays in the colon for too long too much water is extracted.

Symptoms that define constipation

The symptoms of constipation are fairly easy to recognize. Here are some of the factors that help us identify constipation:

  • Infrequent bowel movements
  • Straining
  • Hard, dry stool that is difficult or painful to pass
  • The feeling of incomplete emptying
  • Stool that takes too much time to pass


A long-term constipation solution

guy teaching definition of constipation

Yes, there are medications one can take to temporarily deal with constipation, but are there any good long-term solutions?

A magnesium supplement may be such a solution, especially since a magnesium deficiency has been shown to contribute to constipation, as well as numerous other health problems.

When you consider that 80% of Americans don't get enough magnesium in their diet, taking a magnesium supplement may be the most beneficial solution for relieving constipation.

Consider it s a safe, effective, and cramp free means of achieving:

  • Soft and moist stool
  • Slippery stool that is easy to pass
  • Bulkier stool, needed to stimulate an urge to go


Conclusion: constipation definition

When defining constipation we look at the frequency and consistency of one's bowel movements. A person is constipated if:

  • Stools are dry, hard and difficult to pass, usually requiring straining

  • It takes more than a minute or two to pass stool, and there may be a feeling of incomplete emptying

  • There are fewer than 3 bowel movements per week

If a person is suffering from the symptoms of constipation, whether acute or chronic, supplemental magnesium may bring relief from the cramping and bloating associated with constipation on a long term basis.

(Return from Definition Constipation to What is Constipation)

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