Constipation Information and Prevention

By: Juliet Cohen

Constipation is a condition of the digestive system where a person experiences hard feces that are difficult to egest. Constipation is one of the most common digestive praises. It varies greatly between different people, as each persons bowel movements differ. Most cases of constipation are caused by a low fibre diet or dehydration. Almost everyone gets constipated at some time during life. It affects approximately 2% of the population in the U.S. Women and the elderly are more commonly affected. Constipation can be a concern. Constipation is most common in children and older people, and affects women more than men.

One in 200 women have severe, continuous constipation and it is most common before a period and in pregnancy. There may be several, possibly simultaneous, causes for constipation, including inadequate fiber and fluid intake, a sedentary lifestyle, and environmental changes. More serious causes of constipation include growths or areas of narrowing in the colon. Constipation may be aggravated by travel, pregnancy or change in diet. People who eat a high-fiber diet are less likely to become constipated. The most common causes of constipation are a diet low in fiber or a diet high in fats, such as cheese, eggs, and meats.

Fiber supplements containing indigestible vegetable fiber, such as bran, are often recommended and may provide many benefits in addition to relief of ?constipation. In alternative and traditional medicine, colonic irrigation, enemas, exercise, diet and herbs are used to treat constipation. Laxatives may be necessary in people in whom dietary intervention is not effective or is inappropriate. Try eating lots of high-fiber foods, such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Drink plenty of fluids and get as much exercise as you can. Swimming and walking are good choices. Sorbitol, glycerin and arachis oil suppositories can be used.

Constipation Treatment and Prevention Tips

1. Drink plenty of liquids.

2. Eat a well-balanced diet with plenty of fiber.

3. Severe cases may require phosphate solutions.

4. Exercise regularly. Don't ignore the urge to have a bowel movement.

5. Try to get more exercise by going for a daily walk or run, for example.

6. Use ointment, suppositories or painkillers to relieve a painful anus.

7. Eat a variety of foods, especially beans, bran, whole grains, and fresh fruits and vegetables.

Bowel Problems
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