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According to a recent National Health Interview Survey, about 3 million people in the United States have frequent constipation. Those reporting constipation most often are women and adults age 65 and over. Pregnant women may have constipation, and it is a common problem following childbirth or surgery.

Constipation is one of the most common gastrointestinal complaints in the United States, resulting in about 2 million doctor visits annually. However, most people treat themselves without seeking medical help, as is evident from the millions of dollars Americans spend on laxatives each year.

Find out more about constipation by clicking on the topics below.

  What is Constipation?  

  What Causes Constipation?  

  What are the Symptoms of Constipation?  

  Can Constipation be Serious?  

  How is Constipation Diagnosed?  

  How is Constipation Treated?  

  Practical Considerations  

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Date of Last Update: 07/27/12