Pellet stools aren't the only feature of chronic functional constipation. Functional gastrointestinal disorders (GI) occur in the absence of structural, hormonal/biochemical abnormalities. Functional GI disorders may have a psychosomatic, psychological or neurological basis.
Most think of constipation as having infrequent bowel movements. It's not just the frequency of bowel movements, it's the ease of having them. Chronic constipation is evaluated over a period of at least a year.
Common features which suggest chronic constipation include:
Hard Lumpy Pellet Like Stools
No matter how ready you feel, you can only produce these hard stools. And you are noticing this happens not just once in a while but quite frequently.
Straining While Having a Bowel Movement
It seems to take more and more effort to get it done. It's especially frustrating when time is of the essence, because of a busy schedule.
Sense of Incomplete Evacuation
This annoying sensation adds anxiety. Concern builds around the timing of bowel movements, and attendant hygiene issues.
Less common features include:
If you haven't had to use mechanical means to aid defecation, count yourself among the lucky ones. This one can cause intense feelings of humiliation.
Sensation of Anorectal Blockage
The rectum is a pouch at the end of the colon. Feces is moved out of the body via the anal canal. For various reasons, not all of them functional, there is a blockage in that area.
Having at least two of the above symptoms, for 12 weeks (not necessarily consecutive), for greater than 1/4 of bowel movements suggest chronic functional constipation.
Of course, with any changes in bowel habits, go see a doctor. Some of the above symptoms may occur in other serious GI diseases.Infant Constipation
For more information on the causes and methods to relieve pellet stools, see http://hardpelletstools.blogspot.com.