Causes of Constipation & Constipation Causes

By: JP Richardson

When the word constipation comes to mind, we often think it is the lack of a bowel movement. In fact, bowel movements can happen when a person is constipated but the type of bowel is different. They generally are hard, dry and small and occur less than three times in a given week.

But what causes this uncomfortable situation in the bathroom? It can be a number of things. The common problem, resulting in two million visits to the doctor each year in the United States alone, happens when the colon absorbs too much water. This occurs when the colon's muscle contracts too slowly, resulting in a sluggish movement of the stool through the colon.

A simple change of diet and lifestyle can make a person regular. A common cause of constipation is lack of fiber in the diet, so adding some fresh fruit and vegetables should do the trick in that case. Lack of fluids and exercise also are culprits, so drinking plenty of water and adding workouts to the day also should benefit when it comes to becoming regular.

There are cases where illness becomes involved, such as irritable bowel syndrome or lifestyle changes including pregnancy, travel and simply growing to an older age. A change in medication can also cause constipation.

Laxatives have a stated purpose to help with constipation, but overuse or abuse of them can make the problem worse. Doctors should be consulted before a laxative is ingested, to make sure it won't do more harm than good.

Bowel Problems
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