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Functional constipation is a form of constipation with a psychological or psychosomatic background. A person suffering from it is physiologically healthy, but still experiences trouble defecating. Functional constipation is medically defined by the Rome III criteria.
Functional constipation has many causes, some of which are:
- a bad diet
- an unwillingness to defecate
- nervous reactions, including prolonged and/or chronic stress and anxiety, that close the inner anal sphincter muscle, which isn't under voluntary control
- inability or unwillingness to control one's outer anal sphincter, which is normally under voluntary control
- deeper psychosomatic disorders which sometimes affect digestion and the absorption of water in the colon