Chronic constipation: A strain for men

Published: September, 2008

When the topic of guts comes up in the locker room, most men are talking about courage on the field, not results in the bathroom. Bowel function is not a "guy thing," but chronic constipation sure is, particularly for older men. Here are some things you should know about a topic you may never talk about outside your doctor's office.

Normal intestinal function

Food and fluids start their long tour through your intestinal tract by passing rapidly through your mouth and food pipe (esophagus) into your stomach. The stomach muscles relax to accommodate your meal, but within about 20 minutes fluids move into the small intestine, and solids follow a few minutes later.

To continue reading this article, you must log in.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise

New subscriptions to Harvard Health Online are temporarily unavailable. Click the button below to learn about our other subscription offers.

Learn More »