A delay or difficulty in defecation sufficient to cause significant distress to the patient is defined as constipation.
Objectively it can be defined as duration of more than 4 weeks and presence of any 2 or more of the following:
- Defecation frequency ≤ 2 times per week (except in case of Exclusive breastfed infant after first few weeks of age)
- Fecal incontinence ≥1 times per week after the acquisition of toileting skills
- History of excessive stool retention.
- History of large-diameter stools that may obstruct the toilet
- History of painful or hard bowel movements
- Presence of a large mass in the rectum or on per abdomen examination
One should keep in mind that it is the consistency/shape of the stool not the frequency which is more important for defining constipation.
Post drafted on inputs from Dr Mridul Das, Ex-Pediatric Gastroenterologist at BLK Centre for Child Health
Post Pic: BRISTOL Stool Chart