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Constipation Is a Common Digestive Problem

Essay by   •  May 18, 2011  •  Essay  •  776 Words (4 Pages)  •  2,572 Views

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What is Constipation?

Constipation is a common digestive problem. In constipation the person has infrequent bowel movements. The stool becomes hard and difficult to pass. Constipation means that the person has less than three bowel movements in a week. If a person does not have bowel movements regularly he feels that he is suffering from constipation but it is not true. Three bowel movements in a day till three movements in a week is considered normal.

Constipation is not a disease. Almost every individual feels constipated sometime or the other. It can affect anybody irrespective of age and gender.

Reasons for Constipation

In order to understand constipation it is necessary to understand the working of the colon. As the food passes through the colon it absorbs water content and pushes the remaining part of the food towards the rectum. By the time it reaches it becomes hard and passes out as stool. A person is said to be constipated when the food passes slowly through the colon because either it absorbs too much water or the contraction of the muscles in the colon is slow. As a result the stool becomes very hard and dry. Some reasons leading to constipation are following:

Low fiber diet

A diet which is low in fiber can cause constipation. The fiber helps in preventing hard, dry stool and thus preventing constipation. People who take more of cheese, eggs and meat are likely to become constipated. Therefore one should include fruits, vegetables and grains in diet as they are rich in fiber.

Less intake of liquid

One should drink enough water or juices to keep the body hydrated. Water helps in bowel movement and softens the stool so that they can easily pass. One should drink at least 8 to 10 glasses of water on a regular basis.


Some medicines also lead to constipation. Excess use of iron supplement can result in constipation because it obstructs the absorption of iron and calcium. Taking antibiotics for a long period can also cause constipation because the antibiotics kill both good and bad bacteria. Without the good bacteria digestion is not possible.

Excess use of laxatives

A bowel movement a day is a common belief therefore if a person does not have bowel movement daily he uses over the counter laxatives. He feels relieved. But he needs to increase the dose with the passage of time because the body becomes used to laxatives.

Less physical activity

Lack of physical activity is a common reason for constipation. For intestine to function properly it needs proper supply of blood and oxygen and for this the person has to be physically active.

Bad bathroom habits




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