Most cases of constipation resolve on their own after a few days, but sometimes constipation is a chronic condition lasting two weeks or longer. If these symptoms have lasted for at least two weeks, you may have chronic constipation:
Two or fewer bowel movements a week
- ● Difficulty passing stools
● Dry, hard stools
● Small stools
● A feeling that you haven’t fully evacuated your bowels after going to the bathroom
When constipation is chronic, there are usually additional side effects, including bloating, headaches, and irritability. You’re also at risk of developing other problems, particularly hemorrhoids, which can result from the increased straining you do on the toilet. You’ll also want to find out if constipation is the symptom of a chronic digestive condition, such as irritable bowel syndrome.
Note that when constipation is a sign of a more serious condition, you’ll have other symptoms, such as bleeding and abdominal pain. By itself, constipation is usually not a major health problem, but it does mean something’s wrong with your digestive system.