Constipation is a common digestive problem that affects people of all ages. It is characterized by infrequent bowel movements, hard stools, and difficulty passing stool. Constipation can be caused by a variety of factors, including:
- Not eating enough fiber
- Not drinking enough fluids
- Not getting enough exercise
- Taking certain medications
- Changes in your routine, such as traveling or eating at different times
- Medical conditions, such as diabetes, thyroid problems, or pregnancy
Constipation can be a mild inconvenience or a more serious problem. If you are experiencing constipation, it is important to see a doctor to rule out any underlying medical conditions.
There are a number of things you can do to relieve constipation, including:
- Eating more fiber-rich foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
- Drinking plenty of fluids, especially water
- Getting regular exercise
- Avoiding straining when you have a bowel movement
- Taking over-the-counter laxatives or stool softeners
If you have chronic constipation, you may need to see a doctor for more treatment options.
Here are some additional tips for preventing constipation:
- Go to the bathroom as soon as you feel the urge to have a bowel movement.
- Don’t ignore the urge to have a bowel movement.
- Make sure you have enough privacy when you use the toilet.
- Avoid sitting on the toilet for too long.
- Try to relax when you are having a bowel movement.
If you have any concerns about constipation, talk to your doctor.