What Causes Constipation

There are several causes of constipation.

Constipation is not a disease. It is a symptom.

Constipation is the passage of hard, dry stools which are infrequent and hard to pass.

Normal bowel movement frequency varies greatly from person to person. If you have a bowel movement fewer than three times a week you may be constipated.

With constipation the muscles of the rectum stretch, causing the muscles to weaken so they can’t hold stools in the rectum long enough for a person to reach the bathroom.

Constipation is the most common gastrointestinal complaint in the Unites State. Almost everyone at one time or another is affected with constipation. There are several causes of constipation.

Poor diet is one of the main causes of constipation. Eating a diet high in animal fats and refined sugar and not enough fruits and vegetables can lead to constipation. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is another cause of constipation. This is also known as spastic colon. IBS delays the speed with which the contents of the intestine move through the digestive tract leading to constipation.

Poor bowel habits can also be a cause of constipation. If you ignore the urge to have a bowel movement, this can initiate a cycle of constipation.

This is normally done because people try to avoid using public toilets or are just too busy to stop and go. After a while the urge to have a bowel movement stops and constipation sets in.

Certain medications can also cause constipation. These medications can include pain medications, antacids, antidepressant drugs, tranquilizers and iron supplements.

The causes of constipation can vary from person to person. Understanding that normal bowel movements vary widely is the first step in treating constipation.

Eating a well-balanced diet that includes fiber rich foods, bran, whole grain and fresh fruits and vegetables can lessen the chance of you getting constipated. In addition the urge to have a bowel movement should not be ignored.

Your doctor is best qualified to determine the cause and treatment for your constipation.