Constipation Signs and Symptoms

By Paul Schneider Jr
Constipation Signs and Symptoms

Constipation is becoming an increasingly common health issue in the United States. Many people experience a bout with constipation from time to time.

Others, however, have to deal with chronic constipation on a long term basis. This can cause other serious health complications over time, making it vital to find relief.

Causes of constipation

Some of the most common causes of constipation are a lack of fiber in one's diet, a sedate lifestyle, dehydration, or a magnesium deficiency.

People are now learning that taking a daily magnesium supplement clears up their constipation quickly and keeps it from returning. With 4 out of 5 Americans not getting enough magnesium in their diet, it is no wonder that this is a common problem. 

There are several other conditions that can cause constipation, and several of them are serious. You can learn about less common causes of constipation here:

Below are some of the signs and symptoms of constipation. Learning these can help an individual to confirm that their problem is actually constipation. 

Once a person confirms that their problem is constipation, they can seek out the best ways to deal with it.

Signs of Constipation

danger sign - signs and symptoms of constipation

If a person is experiencing any or all of the following symptoms, constipation is a likely cause.

Infrequent bowel movements

If a person experiences fewer than 3 bowel movements per week, by definition it is constipation. Bowel movements should occur daily, but even every other day is normal for some, if the stool is not hard and difficult to pass.

Pain or swelling in the abdomen

When a person becomes constipated, they can expect their belly to appear bloated and cramping pains to accompany it. This is caused by stool not passing through the bowel as quickly and easily as it should.


A person who is severely constipated can begin to feel like they are going to vomit, and may actually do so. This can be caused by the sheer amount of pain resulting from the constipation, or from the fact that the bowel is backed up.

A hard stool

Stool that doesn't contain enough water will appear hard and dried out.  A stool should be about 75% water. Less than this makes for a dry, hard and difficult to pass stool.

Straining to pass stool

Stool should normally pass easily, without the need for straining.

Length of time in the bathroom

Soft stool should pass in under a minute, two minutes at the most. If bathroom trips are taking longer than two minutes, this is a sign of constipation.

Partial evacuation

When a person defecates it should empty the left portion of the colon. Incomplete evacuation is a sign of constipation.

Painful bowel movements

Dry, hardened stool can require straining to pass, and thus bowel movements may become painful. This is one of the major signs of constipation.

A magnesium supplement may help to relieve constipation

A magnesium supplement may actually help to reverse chronic constipation. How does it work?

  • The body has trouble absorbing magnesium sulfate. As a result, most of it ends up in the colon, where it draws in water. This additional water helps to make stool moist, soft, more slippery and easier to pass.

  • Adding moisture to stool increases its bulk, resulting in a natural urge to go.

Magnesium can help to relieve the above Signs and Symptoms of Constipation.

Eliminating constipation symptoms

For many Americans, constipation has become a regular part of life, as they struggle with infrequent bowel movements. The straining can be painful, and can create hemorrhoids

Once a magnesium supplement helps to soften these hardened, dry stools, bowel movements may become more frequent and require the usual straining. 

Cramping, pain, and nausea are reduced or eliminated, and trips to the bathroom may take as little as 10 seconds, not counting the paperwork.

Conclusion, signs and symptoms

There are numerous signs and symptoms of constipation. These can help us to tell if constipation is actually the problem. Once it has been positively identified, there are many ways to deal with it.

(Return from Constipation Signs and Symptoms to Signs of Constipation)

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