Signs and symptoms of constipation

      Signs and symptoms of constipation

      Constipation is a common condition that can affect people of all ages. Statistically, it does however affect twice as many women as men, and older people are 5 times more likely than younger adults to suffer from constipation.1

      Constipation can be characterised by the following signs and symptoms:

      • Passing fewer than 3 stools (poos) per week
      • Dry, hard or lumpy stools
      • Unusually large or small stools that can be difficult to push out
      • Having a stomach ache and feeling bloated
      • Feeling sick
      • Loss of appetite

      The severity of constipation and symptoms experienced will vary from person to person. Many people only experience constipation for a short period of time, but for others, constipation can be a longer-term condition that can be uncomfortable and can impact their quality of life.


      1. NICE, Lubiprostone for treating chronic idiopathic constipation, November 2013. URL:, Accessed: October 2019