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Constipation is the symptom of decreased bowel frequency often associated with hard or difficult to pass stools. It has many causes, including drugs and slow transit time.  It is often exacerbated by lifestyle factors such as inactivity, diets which are low in fibre and or fluid and a tendency to ignore the urge to open ones bowels. Whilst it is not the same as disordered defecation, it is often confused with this because many of the symptoms appear to overlap. Drugs particularly opiate based painkillers such as codeine are a common precipitant of constipation, particularly when they are used in combination with a period of inactivity, perhaps due to co-occurring injury.

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