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Avoid complications by treating chronic constipation early

February 12, 2021

Constipation tends to be more common in women and may get worse with age.

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 Image: © krisanapong detraphiphat/Getty Images

Like gray hair and wrinkles, constipation is something you're more likely to experience as you age. "Constipation is a very common complaint; mild irregularity is probably even more prevalent," says Dr. Judy Nee, an instructor in medicine at Harvard Medical School. "Women are more likely than men to be constipated."

More than one in three adults ages 60 and older have experienced constipation symptoms, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). Constipation is typically defined as having fewer than three bowel movements a week; having stool that is hard, dry, and difficult to pass; or feeling that you aren't able to void completely when you use the bathroom.

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