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Constipation: Symptoms, Causes, and Remedies

Constipation occurs when bowel movement is less often than normal. The expected time duration between bowel movements varies from person to person. Some people have them three times a day. Others have them just a few times a week. Having fewer than three bowel movements a week is the definition of constipation.

Constipation symptoms

What are the Symptoms of constipation?

Symptoms of constipation include:

  • You have fewer than three bowel movements a week.
  • Your stools are dry, hard, and lumpy.
  • Your bowel movement is painful, and stools are difficult to pass.
  • You have a stomach ache or cramps,
  •  feel bloated and nauseous.
  • You feel that you haven’t completely emptied your bowels after a movement.

Constipation may be considered chronic if you’ve experienced two or more of these symptoms for the last three months.

What causes constipation?

It’s often difficult to identify the exact cause of constipation. There are so many causes to happen constipation. Those are discussed below. Let’s have a look-


  • Changes in routine life such as a change in your eating habit or going to bed at different times
  • Not having enough water 
  • Eating disorders
  • Not eating enough high-fiber foods, such as vegetables, fruits, and cereals. High-fiber foods keep food moving through the digestive system.
  • Eating a lot of dairy products: some people are fond of dairy products, and these people are easily prone to constipation.
  • Not getting enough exercise 
  • Ignoring the urge to pass stools
  • Not being active: Some people are lazy or have sedentary work; these people may have constipation.


  • Side effects of certain medications. Some medications, especially antidepressants, strong pain drugs such as narcotics, and iron pills.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, like ibuprofen 
  • Allergy medications, such as antihistamines 
  • Certain blood pressure medicines, including calcium channel blockers 
  • Psychiatric medications, like clozapine 
  • Anticonvulsant/seizure medications, such as phenytoin and gabapentin.
  • Antinausea medications, like ondansetron 
  • Antacid medicines that have calcium or aluminum
  • Overuse of laxatives

Medical and health conditions

  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Pregnancy
  • Stress
  • Problems with the nerves and muscles in your digestive system
  • Colon cancer
  • Lazy bowel syndrome. The colon contracts poorly and retains stool.
  • Structural defects in the digestive tract 
  • Neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, stroke.
  • Endocrine problems, like underactive thyroid gland (called hypothyroidism), diabetes.
  • Excess calcium in your blood due to overactive parathyroid glands, medications, cancer, or other causes
  • Multiple organ diseases, such as amyloidosis, lupus, and scleroderma

In children, fear about using the toilet and poor diet are some causes.

Constipation Remedy: Manage at home

We can manage mild and moderate constipation mostly at home. It starts from your eating and drinking in a day.

There are some recommendations to help relieve your constipation. Let’s have a look-

  • Add fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and other high-fiber foods to your diet. Fiber and water help the colon pass stool. Most of the fiber in fruits is found in the skins, such as apples. Fruits with seeds you can eat, like strawberries. These have the most fiber. 
  • Eat fewer high-fat foods, like meat, eggs, and cheese. Drink two to four extra glasses of water a day. Avoid caffeine-containing drinks and alcohol, which can dehydrate you. You may need to stop drinking these products until your bowel habits return to normal.
  • Eat prunes and bran cereal. Bran is a great source of fiber. Eat bran cereal or add bran cereal to other foods, like soup and yogurt. People with constipation should eat between 18 and 30 grams of fiber every day.
  • Keep a food diary and single out foods that constipate you.
  • Drink warm liquids, especially in the morning.
  • Get moving. Exercise regularly, most days of the week. When you move your body, the muscles in your intestines are more active.
  • Move your bowels when you feel the urge. Do not wait.
  • Check how you sit on the toilet. Raising your feet, leaning back, or squatting may make bowel movement easier. 
  • Add an over-the-counter supplemental fiber to your diet.
  • If needed, take a very mild over-the-counter stool softener or laxative. Mineral oil enemas and stimulant laxatives are other options. There are many laxative choices. Each of them works in a different way to ease constipation.
  • Ask your pharmacist or doctor for help in making a choice. Do not use laxatives for more than two weeks without calling your doctor. Overuse of laxatives can worsen your symptoms.
  • Do not read or use your phone or other devices while trying to move your bowels.

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