What is Constipation?

This is a common and often uncomfortable problem.  Constipation is when you have bowel movements less often than usual or strain to pass hard, dry stool. Constipation can be a temporary problem that lasts a short time. Or it can be a chronic problem that never seems to go away.

Main causes of constipation are a diet that's too low in fiber and water, travel that disrupts your normal routine, pregnancy, lack of exercise, misusing laxatives, taking certain medications(such as pain medications, diuretics, and antihistamines), or ignoring the urge to have a bowel movement. Diseases such as diabetes or hypothyroidism may also cause constipation.

Eating more fiber, getting regular exercise, avoiding chronic laxative use and drinking plenty of water for normal bowel movements can treat constipation.  Recent change in bowel movements, especially with weight loss in someone over the age of 40 should be evaluated by a colonoscopy.

Symptoms of constipation are: