Constipation and other problems with defaecation

  • Michael Lancaster-Smith
  • Kenneth G. D. Williams
Part of the Problems in Practice Series book series (PRIP, volume 7)


It is important to realize that there is wide variation in the frequency of defaecation. Nevertheless, 90% of the population in the United Kingdom open their bowels between five times per week and twice per day. Only 1% has two or fewer bowel actions per week. Many of this latter group do not, however, have symptoms referable to constipation and doubtless accept their habit as normal. In contrast, there are many who quite naturally have a more frequent bowel action yet consider themselves constipated because they do not have a daily movement. This misconception often stems from childhood and the rigid attitude of parents to toilet training. Constipation is, therefore, difficult to define, but the term is probably best used to describe the infrequent production of hard stool which requires excessive straining to pass.


Irritable Bowel Syndrome Barium Enema Rectosigmoid Junction Bowel Action Toilet Training 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Copyright information

© M. Lancaster-Smith 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Lancaster-Smith
    • 1
  • Kenneth G. D. Williams
    • 2
  1. 1.Queen Mary’s HospitalSidcup, KentUK
  2. 2.Farnborough HospitalOrpington, KentUK

Personalised recommendations