Intro to Constipation
Being constipated means your bowel movements are difficult or happen less often than normal. Almost everyone has it at some point in life, and it's usually not serious. Still, you'll feel much better when your system is back on track.
The normal length of time between bowel movements varies widely from person to person. Some people have bowel movements three times a day. Others have them only once or twice a week.
Going longer than three or more days without a bowel movement is usually too long. After three days, the stool or feces become harder and tougher to pass.
What are the symptoms of Constipation?
- Few bowel movements
- Trouble having a bowel movement (straining)
- Hard or small stools
- A sense that everything didn’t come out
- Swollen abdomen or abdominal pain
What causes Constipation?
Some causes of constipation include:
- Antacid medicines containing calcium or aluminum
- Changes in your usual diet or activities
- Colon cancer
- Eating a lot of dairy products.
- Eating disorders
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Neurological conditions such as Parkinson's disease or multiple sclerosis
- Not being active
- Not enough water or fiber in your diet
- Overuse of laxatives (Over time, this weakens the bowel muscles)
- Problems with the nerves and muscles in the digestive system
- Resisting the urge to have a bowel movement, which some people do because of hemorrhoids
- Some medications (especially strong pain drugs such as narcotics, antidepressants, or iron pills)
- Under active thyroid (hypothyroidism)