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Constipation - Overview

Constipation is a term that refers to infrequent bowel movement usually accompanied by a stool which is hard to pass. Constipation is generally associated with painful defecation. This is relatively common disorder and every single person has experienced constipation at least once in their lifetime. Improper diet, inadequate intake of water and sedentary lifestyle are considered major contributors to constipation. Furthermore, constipation may be a side effect of certain medications and surgeries. And finally this is a symptom of many illnesses.

There are many ways to relieve constipation. Initially the problem is basically treated with certain lifestyle changes and home remedies. However, if the problem persists it is best to consult a doctor.

Relieving Constipation

The first option is to try to regulate bowel movement and relieve constipation naturally with dietary changes and by increasing physical activity. It is not recommendable to use laxatives without consulting a doctor. Overuse or misuse of these medications can only make the situation worse and lead to certain complications.

People who are suffering from constipation are due to increase intake of water. It is reported that people who do not consume at least 8 to 10 glasses of water per day are more prone to constipation comparing to people who tend to drink more water. Starting a day with a glass of water may be highly efficient and help in bowel movement. Apart from water other fluids which may be taken include fruit juices and soups. Soda drinks, coffee and alcohol are not the option.

The second thing one should do is to increase intake of dietary fiber. The food rich in fiber must be consumed on a daily bases. It is proven that fibers from fruit, salads, nuts, seeds, legumes etc regulate bowel movement and are very effective when it comes to constipation. On the other hand, some food types such as processed foods, sugar etc must be avoided as they may induce constipation.

Many people suffering from constipation are not active at all. Inactivity is one of the leading causes of constipation. Yes, it is hard to work all day long in an office and sit all the time but each and every person has enough time to go for a twenty-minute walk at least once a day. 

In pregnant women constipation may occur due to intake of specific supplements. If this is the case a woman should consult her health care provider who is supposed to prescribe suitable alternative to problematic supplement.

All in all, if none of the previously mentioned works the problem may be more serious and the underlying cause must be looked for. This is why constipation should not be taken lightly and neglected. Severe cases of constipation may require certain medications. Still dietary changes as well as increase in physical activity remain the cornerstone of the treatment.

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