• Overview

    Constipation means infrequent or difficult bowel movements. It is a common disorder that is often described as the transition of small, hard stools; the feeling the rectum has not completely been emptied, and straining during defecation. 


    Understanding the Prevalence and Impact of Constipation in Canada

    A Special Report from the Canadian Digestive Health Foundation 

    Constipation is a common condition that has an enormous and underappreciated impact on individual Canadians. While our country has a sound base of constipation expertise, there are often significant differences between physician and patient perceptions of symptoms and their effects on quality of life. There are many laxative and other treatment options available, but strong evidence to support their use in effectively treating constipation is limited to a select few. Because of gaps in knowledge, hesitation to seek care, and access to evidence-based care, many Canadians with occasional or chronic constipation fail to receive the appropriate therapy and suffer unnecessarily.

    Individuals, and those who care for them, need access to information about laxatives that are proven to be effective clinically and have minimal side effects so they can benefit from the relief of symptoms, enjoy an improved quality of life, be more productive, and use less health care resources over the long term. The CDHF's Special Report on Understanding the Prevalence and Impact of Constipation in Canada highlights facts and recommendations to improve care and quality of life for people suffering from constipation.

     Read the Report
  • Guides

    Understanding Constipation

    Constipation means infrequent or difficult bowel movements. It often occurs when digested food moves too slowly through the digestive tract. As a result, the body removes (absorbs) too much water from the stools, causing them to become hard, dry and difficult to pass.

    ► View Guide

    Understanding Irritable Bowel Syndrome with Constipation (IBS-C)

    Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a common chronic gastrointestinal disorder that involves problems with motility (how the bowel moves contents through our intestines) and sensitivity (how the brain interprets pain sensations in the bowel).  

    ► View Guide

  • Frequently Asked Questions

    How often should I have a bowel movement?

    It is important to realize that the frequency of bowel movements varies from person to person. Some people may empty their bowels several times a day while others may only have a bowel movement once every few days. Whatever is normal for you, is fine.  You should take note however, when your bowel patterns change.

    Will a cleansing enema program help me?

    There is no evidence that there is a build-up of harmful toxins in the bowel when one has an irregular bowel pattern. The most important factor in treating irritable bowel syndrome is what you do on a daily basis including eating, physical exercise and stress management.

  • Videos

    Understanding Constipation

    Constipation is common but it is not normal. While making good choices about diet and exercise can usually relieve occasional constipation, those who suffer from chronic constipation know these don't work and may need to speak to a pharmacist or doctor to find a solution. Watch this educational video to learn how to get things moving and get on with enjoying your life!

    ► Watch Video

    Understanding your Options - Managing Chronic Constipation

    Constipation is very common. 1 in 4 Canadians has symptoms of constipation. It can affect everyone from the young to the elderly. Join Dr. David Armstrong for an interesting, entertaining and educational hour that can help you identify if you are suffering from chronic constipation, understand the possible causes, and explore options for relief.

    ► Watch Video

    Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

    Millions of Canadians suffer from IBS. Dr. Steve Somerton offers a series of options to help you get the diagnosis you need, understand the tests you may be sent to have and options for relieving symptoms. 

    ► Watch Video

    Constipation with Dr. David Armstrong

    At the 2012 CDHF Digestive Health Public Education Forum, Dr. David Armstrong gave an interesting and educational presentation on Constipation to a capacity crowd.

    ► Watch Video

  • Downloads

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