As food moves through the colon, the colon absorbs water to form the stool. Muscle contractions
in the colon push the stool toward the rectum. By the time stool reaches the rectum, it is solidified
as most of the water has been absorbed. The common causes of constipation include: not enough
fiber in diet, not enough liquids, lack of exercise, medications, irritable bowel syndrome, pregnancy,
older age, and travel, abuse of laxatives, ignoring the urge to have a bowel movement, specific
diseases such as multiple sclerosis and lupus, problems with the colon, rectum or with intestinal
function (Chronic idiopathic constipation).
When you feel that you have constipation, you should consult your doctor to check if the
constipation is related to any physiological problems, e.g. irritable bowel syndrome.
In general, dietary and lifestyle changes help relieve symptoms and help prevent constipation. A
diet with enough fiber helps to form soft, bulky stool. High-fiber foods include beans, whole grains
and bran cereals, fresh fruits and most vegetables. In some cases, limiting low-fiber foods such as
ice cream, cheese, meat, and processed foods may be needed. Drinking enough water, vegetable
juices or clear soup, engaging in daily exercise, and reserving enough time to have a bowel
movement can help treat and prevent constipation. Establishment of bowel habit is also important
to prevent constipation. In case, you need to use laxatives for constipation, you should consult
your doctor to select one best for you. In case, the cause is related to physiological conditions, you
may receive special treatments.
Additional Resources for Constipation
International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders
P.O. Box 17864
Milwaukee WI 53217
Intestinal Disease Foundation
1323 Forbes Avenue, Suite 200
Pittsburgh PA 15219
Constipation - Causes and
Constipation is passage of small amounts of hard, dry bowel movements. The symptoms of
constipation include difficult bowel movement, feeling bloated, uncomfortable, and sluggish. In
most cases, constipation is temporary. The causes for constipation are mainly poor diet and
lack of exercise.
Discuss with your doctor before taking any alternative medicine. This article is for
reference only, it is not a medical advice. All rights reserved. Do not copy this article to
other website or blog.