What is Constipation?

Strictly speaking, constipation refers to the irregular and infrequent or difficult evacuation of the bowels. Sufferers have hard feces that are difficult to expel. This occurs when the colon absorbs too much water, or when the muscles in the colon are contracting slowly or poorly so that the stool moves too slowly and loses more water.

What causes Constipation?

The most common cause of constipation are when a person’s diet has an insufficient amount of fiber, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Other common causes are age and inactivity.

How is Constipation treated?

Treatment depends on the severity of the problem. Sufferers of acute constipation can increase their fluid intake, alter their diet, and supplement it with bulk laxatives. Chronic sufferers can alleviate constipation with laxatives, intestinal stimulants, lubricants such as mineral oil, stool softeners, and saline laxatives.

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