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Constipation - Symptom, Treatment And Causes

What happens in Constipation?

Suffering from constipation implies that the bowel movements happen less frequently or that the stool is tough. It is so common that most people experience it at some point in their lives. Even though it isn’t very serious a problem, you are prone to feel way better after the body is functioning like it should. The time gap between the bowel movements depends for each person. While some pass stool thrice daily, others may pass stool twice weekly. If the stool is passed after more than three days then it is generally considered to be too long. The fecal matter becomes harder after not being passed for three days at a stretch.

Some constipation relief techniques are:

  • Antacid medication having aluminum or calcium
  • Changing the usual activities or diet
  • Colon cancer
  • Consuming a lot of milk and other dairy products
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Eating disorders
  • Neurological conditions like multiple sclerosis or parkinsons’ disease
  • Being under active
  • Not enough roughage or water in the diet
  • Overusing laxatives
  • Nervous and muscular problems of the digestive system
  • Pregnancy
  • Resisting urges for passing stool, which some individuals might do due to hemorrhoids
  • Few medicines like certain pain killers
  • Stress
  • Hypothyroidism

What can be done for constipation treatment? Here are a few steps:

  • Drink warm beverages, more so in the morning
  • Add vegetables and fruits in your diet
  • Drink up to four more glasses full of water in a day, unless your doctor has limited fluid intake for some other reason
  • Have fibrous cereals
  • If you feel the need, take a mild stool softener or laxatives such as magnesium hydroxide. Don’t prolong laxative use for over two weeks without consulting your doctor. If the laxatives are overdone, then the symptoms may worsen.

    • Have a wholesome diet rich in fiber. Good fiber sources are vegetables, legumes, fruits and multi grain bread like bran.
    • Eat a well- balanced diet with plenty of fiber. Good sources of fiber are fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole-grain bread and cereal (especially bran).
    • Drink 1 1/2 to 2 quarts of water and other fluids a day (unless your doctor has you on a fluid-restricted diet). Fiber and water work together to keep you regular.
    • Avoid caffeine. It can be dehydrating.
    • Cut back on milk. Some people may need to avoid it because dairy products may be constipating for them.
    • Exercise regularly. Do something active for at least 30 minutes a day, most days of the week.
    • Go to the bathroom when you feel the urge.
    parkinsons disease
Treatable by medical professional Usually self diagnosable Lab test sometimes required Short-term: resolves within days to weeks
Trouble having a bowel movement. Swollen belly or belly pain. Hard or small stools.

Popular Health Tips

Exercise - Why It Is Important For Your Digestive Health?

MD - Medicine, DM - Gastroenterology
Gastroenterologist, Gurgaon
Exercise - Why It Is Important For Your Digestive Health?

A digestive system that is healthy and functions smoothly ensures sound health of both body and mind. If the digestive system faces any kind of interference, the body will be in trouble too. The way the body benefits from regular exercising so does the digestive system as well as the digestive process.

Keep on reading to understand the importance of exercise on digestion.

  1. Boosts the Blood Circulation: Exercise is known to boost the blood flow in the body. Blood being responsible for absorbing various nutrients from the digested food and then distributing them throughout the body, proper blood flow becomes necessary for the digestive system to function smoothly. The better the blood flow, the more efficient will be the digestive process, preventing risks of developing heartburn, gas, constipation, stomach cramps, etc.
  2. Increases the Metabolism: Exercise also helps in boosting metabolism. As a result, it makes the food move through the digestive system more quickly. The quicker the passage of the food, the lesser the load or work done by the digestive system. When the food fails to pass quickly, it ends up sitting and rotting in the gastrointestinal tract, causing acidity and other stomach discomforts.
  3. Helps in Maintaining a Digestive Routine: Exercise also plays a crucial role in helping the body maintain a healthy digestive routine. Yes, it is through exercising that you can help your body to better utilize the nutrient-rich food that you are consuming. It is not only the fiber-rich foods or necessary water consumption, but also exercise that can help in establishing a routine for the body, such as regular bowel movement.
  4. Makes the Muscles Strong: The role that regular exercising plays in strengthening the muscles around the intestines as well as the stomach say a lot about the relationship of exercise and smooth digestion. Just as the muscles of various parts of the body become strong, exercising strengthens the muscles involved with the digestion process. These muscles move the food through the intestines and stomach more easily and efficiently.
  5. Keeps the Mind Relaxed and Stress-Free: Excessive stress can cause the esophagus muscles to go into sudden convulsion or contraction, letting the stomach acid and the gastric secretions go back up the food pipe and interrupt the digestive process. The more stressed one is, the more hampered will be the process of digesting and absorbing nutrients. It is undoubtedly through regular exercising that both the mind and body can stay relaxed, and free from troubles caused by stress.

Before opting for any exercise, it's important that you consult a doctor first. This is because sometimes you may not be aware of your physical condition. If there are any underlying health problems, they could worsen further by random, strenuous exercise.

13 people found this helpful

Urinary Tract Infection - How Constipation Can Lead To It?

MBBS, DNB (Obstetrics and Gynecology), MD - Obstetrtics & Gynaecology
Gynaecologist, Delhi
Urinary Tract Infection - How Constipation Can Lead To It?

UTI is an infection that occurs in the urinary tract. It is more common in males than in females and it occurs in both the sexes contrary to popular belief. It usually is the work of a bacterium known as E.coli (Escherichia coli) although other bacterium and fungi may also be responsible for the same, very rarely do they actually cause it. UTI is not a sexually transmitted disease (STD) but it can pose a risk factor during sexual intercourse. So you need to be careful.

Since UTI is caused by a bacteria you can catch it from a number of sources. People who live in unhygienic conditions, lower income groups and the like are more prone to contracting UTI. UTI can cause a number of complications depending on the kind of infection you contract. It can affect the kidneys, which is the upper urinary tract, resulting in pyelonephritis as well as the bladder, the lower urinary tract resulting in cystitis. The simplest of UTI can be handled using a range of antibiotics but it can get further aggravated at which point it needs to be treated with intravenous antibiotics. There is a fair chance of mortality stemming from this disease and the lack of awareness about how it is caused does not help either. Thus, here is a quick guide to the causes of UTI that you can and should keep an eye out for:

  1. Constipation: Constipation makes it very easy for bacteria cultures to develop in your bladder. Since you cannot empty your body of the toxins as it does when you defecate, there is enough time and place for the bacteria to multiply and cause UTI. On the other hand, diarrhoea or faecal incontinence increase your chances of contracting UTI as the bacterium from the stool can stay stuck to your vagina and urethra. Be careful to wash up well after a bowel movement.
  2. Dehydration: Water helps in eliminating the body harmful toxins from the body that might cause infections and such. If you do not drink enough water and stay hydrated then your body becomes a breeding ground for bacteria that can cause UTI. Not drinking enough water can also lead to kidney stones which in turn stop your urine flow and nurture bacteria growth.
  3. Birth control and feminine hygiene products: The use of contraception and feminine hygiene products during menstruation like tampons and sanitary napkins can lead to UTI if not carefully monitored. Frequently changing your birth control is not advised as it can cause hormonal changes and affect the normal bacteria in your vagina. On the other hand, change your tampons as frequently as possible so as not to harbour bacteria growth.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

3724 people found this helpful

Constipation - Possible Ways It Can Be Managed!

DM - Gastroenterology, MD - Internal Medicine, MBBS Bachelor of Medicine & Bachelor of Surgery
Gastroenterologist, Noida
Constipation - Possible Ways It Can Be Managed!

Constipation is primarily a huge discomfort in the pit of your stomach. You feel like you want to empty yourself and you run to the loo only to be disappointed once again. If you can’t relieve yourself you might end up feeling bloated and experience abdominal aches, passing stool might just prove to be the hardest activity while running back and forth from the loo always feeling as if there is some unfinished business with your bowel movements. The normal frequency of bowel movements in adults is 1 to 2 per day and children may end up with 3 to 4 a day. If you are constipated the movement becomes restricted to just 3 a week or even less.

There are a number of reasons behind constipation - the number one being not drinking enough water or not including enough roughage in your diet or if you lead a sedentary life. There are three categories into which constipation is broken into primary, secondary and congenital. However, constipation does not have to rule your life, in fact there are some treatments you can avail to combat it and lead a happier life:

  1. Eating habits: You need to include roughage in your diet for it weighs your stool down and makes it easier for you to eliminate it from your body. Roughage rich food items include beans, berries, green vegetables, mushrooms, whole grain foods, cereal and muesli and nuts. Consult a dietitian to learn how much fibre intake is required for you daily, don’t rush it as a sudden increase may lead to gas. Also, keep yourself hydrated, drink lots of water throughout the day as it will soften your stool allowing for easy passage.
  2. Exercise: Daily exercise facilitates muscle movement in your intestines. Doing abdomen based exercises like crunches and push ups will not only affect your entire system but also help make your stomach muscles more flexible and accommodating to easy bowel movements. Additionally, don't force your bowel movement and take as much time as you need in the loo until the flow occurs naturally.
  3. Laxatives: This is a method employed in the more severe cases of constipation. You will be given fibre supplements, lubricants, stool softeners, osmotics and stimulants. These will help add mass to your stool and help the stool move more easily through your colon and contract your intestinal muscles for easier processing.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

3066 people found this helpful

Different Ways To Prevent Constipation After Back Surgery!

MS - General Surgery, MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery
General Surgeon, Bangalore
Different Ways To Prevent Constipation After Back Surgery!

Constipation is a common problem which patients face after major surgeries. Back surgery is one of the conditions after which constipation occur causing discomfort and pain.

Following are the ways to prevent the unpleasant and often painful side effects of constipation after back surgery:

  1. Resume activity as early as possible after surgery to help body functions return to normal. Walking is one of the ways in which constipation can be prevented as it helps in the movement of bowels.
  2. Minimize the use of narcotic medications which are used to control pain as narcotics slow down the bowel motility thereby leading to constipation. If possible, try to take a non-narcotic painkiller.
  3. Drink plenty of water and increase fluid intake at least more than 2 liters/day to prevent hard stools and constipation.
  4. Eat food which has high fiber content, such as whole grains, legumes, oatmeal, brown rice, beans, fruits, and vegetables, to provide roughage which will help to stimulate the intestines.
  5. Avoid eating food items, such as cheese, meat, white rice, processed food, and milk, which aid in constipation.
  6. Use a fiber laxative to reduce the risk of constipation. Try and use natural laxatives, such as prune juice or apple cider. Use bulk fiber laxative which adds bulk to the stool and helps keep water in the colon.
  7. Drink natural laxative, such as tea which will help you get the urge for passing stools.
  8. Stool softener/emollient laxatives help fluid to mix with a stool to soften it making it easy to pass through the intestines and colon.
  9. Stimulant laxatives, such as Dulcolax and milk of magnesia, are commonly used to prevent constipation by stimulating bowel contractions.
  10. Eat small quantity of food at short intervals rather than eating in large quantities at a time to aid digestion and prevent constipation.In cases of very bad constipation suppositories, such as Dulcolax are inserted into the rectum. This process helps by causing a contraction of the rectum and pushing the stool out. The action of the suppository is very quick.
  11. An enema is also used commonly to relieve constipation. It is usually water or saline which is injected into the rectum up to the colon thereby stimulating the colon to contract.
  12. Lubricants are similar to stool softeners which are used to relieve constipation (For example, oil-based products, such as mineral or cod oil).
  13. Do not delay to go to the washroom when you get the urge to pass stools.
  14. Use home remedies such as honey, lemon juice, coffee, castor oil, or raisins to prevent constipation.
  15. Herbal laxatives also help the intestinal muscles to push stools through the colon as well as soften stools.

Thus, by using the above methods, constipation post a back surgery can be resolved. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

1881 people found this helpful

Constipation - What Can You Do To Get Rid Of It?

M.Ch - Surgical Gastroenterology/G.I. Surgery, MS (General Surgery), MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, MRCPS
Gastroenterologist, Calicut
Constipation - What Can You Do To Get Rid Of It?

We are seeing a veritable explosion of constipation in the world. Most people will experience some constipation in their lives but it’s when the problem gets chronic or is accompanied by pain and /or blood in stools, that it should ring alarm bells for sure. Being constipated means that your bowel movements don’t happen normally. But, what’s normal? We know that the normal length of time between bowel movements varies widely from person to person. Some people go to the loo three times a day and that’s normal for them. In general, not clearing your bowels for more than three days is usually considered too long. The stool also becomes hard and difficult to pass after three days.


  1. Fewer bowel movements
  2. Trouble passing stools
  3. Hard stools
  4. Feeling full even after passing stools
  5. Flatulence and belly pain
  6. Vomiting

Having too many antacid medicines, especially those containing calcium or aluminium

  1. Changes in lifestyle including diet and usual activities
  2. Colon cancer
  3. Dairy products
  4. Eating disorders
  5. Irritable bowel syndrome
  6. Neurological problems like Parkinson's disease or multiple sclerosis
  7. Inactivity
  8. Having less water or fibre in diet
  9. Laxative overuse
  10. Pregnancy
  11. Nerve and muscle problems in the digestive system like due to fibromyalgia
  12. Medications like NSAIDS, drugs, antidepressants, or iron pills
  13. Stress
  14. Hypothyroidism


  1. Drink more water consciously- Drink two to four extra glasses of water a day.
  2. Drink warm liquids, especially after getting up in the morning.
  3. Add more fibre to your diet by eating more fruits and vegetables.
  4. You can use a mild over-the-counter stool softener like docusate or a laxative like magnesium hydroxide, but for not more than two weeks.
  5. Call your doctor if you have a sudden attack of constipation with abdominal pain and you aren’t able to pass any gas or stool.

Other ways to get rid of constipation are

  1. Eat a well- balanced diet with enough fibre. Eat bran and multi-grain bread instead of white bread. Cut out processed foods from your diet. Eat regularly.
  2. Drink 1 1/2 to litres of water and other fluids a day.
  3. Avoid caffeine found in tea, coffee and soft drinks. This can exasperate constipation
  4. Cut back on dairy, especially milk.
  5. Exercise regularly. Just 30 minutes of walking or some activity can manage constipation.
  6. Don’t hold back from going to the bathroom when you feel the urge.
  7. Eat more vitamin B 12. Sometimes lack of this vitamin can cause constipation. A deficiency can also make you tired, weak and nervous.
  8. Stress is a big cause for constipation. Be sure to nix it as it causes changes in the body that cause problems in your body like constipation.
  9. The gastrointestinal system is especially sensitive to stress so anything meditative like Tai chi, yoga or listening to music can be a big relief.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

2031 people found this helpful

Popular Questions & Answers

Hi doctor I was having piles before one month. Thn it ws fine now I dnt have constipation I pass my motion properly but now a days feeling itching nd piles cmng bck I think pls hlp me out.

Homeopath, Noida
Take home cooked, fresh light food. Take a lot of green vegetables n fruit. It contains a lot of fiber which will help reduce tendency for constipation Maintain active life style Curd is good for u. Avoid fast foods, spicy n fried foods For details you can contact me.

I am suffering from strange bouts of burping and nausea. The nausea gets usually relieved when I burp. I am also bloated and pass gas. I quit a 10 year habit of smoking recently while my symptoms initially disappeared they reappeared in 10 days. I never vomited or have any appetite issues nor I am constipated and do not have any chronic/acute abdominal pain .I am. Clueless, is it the weather in Bangalore or water or my mental state or h.pylori causing this? The condition is impacting my quality of life and productivity. This condition is impacting me from the last 3 months and goes away when I am away from bangalore. Also, while in Bangalore there are times when I am perfectly okay and times when I feel really debilitated. Also while being nauseatic I also have sensitivity to smell till the time I usually burp and the symptoms disappear Please suggest.

BASM, MD, MS (Counseling & Psychotherapy), MSc - Psychology, Certificate in Clinical psychology of children and Young People, Certificate in Psychological First Aid, Certificate in Positive Psychology, Positive Psychiatry and Mental Health
Psychologist, Palakkad
Dear user. I can understand. Please don't be panic. I suggest you to consult a gastrologist in person. We are here to help you in every aspect of your mental and physical health. Any sexual or psychological problems can be cured with the help of various methods and therapies. I suggest you to post your query with every detail here. We will help you in overcoming your problems certainly. Take care.

I am 47 years old male having high blood pressure from last 10 year and taking Amlodipine 5 mg. Daily. I have severe constipation problem. Please suggest some other type of BP medicine of the same power. Currently my BP remain. 140/90.

MD - Medicine, Diploma in Diabetes Management
Diabetologist, Surat
Dear Lybrate user, Amlodepine could be one of the reasons that is causing the constipation but just based on short complaints the meds cannot be changed, your detailed history of disease n drugs are required to chose the right drug for you.

Table of Content

What happens in Constipation?

Some constipation relief techniques are:

What can be done for constipation treatment? Here are a few steps:

Play video
Routine Pregnancy Check-Up
There are some common problems faced by expecting mothers during pregnancy , such as cramps , constipation , vomiting , heartburn and indigestion and so on. Its important to get regular check ups done by your medical practitioner to avoid any complications.
Play video
One must have a fiber rich diet. Apart from this , one should eat wheat bran , oatmeal , fruits and vegetables. Avoid frozen & canned foods and drink 8-10 glasses of water daily to keep your stomach clean and to avoid constipation.
Play video
Ayurvedic Treatment
Ayurveda is an ancient medical science which was developed in India thousands of years ago.Ayurvedic Medicine is the world's oldest comprehensive health care system and is indigenous to India where it is widely practiced.
Play video
Hello Friends!

Myself Dr. Srushti Bhujbale. I work in Vasai West as a piles-fissure-fistula expert. Today I will speak about piles. What is piles? How do they come and what are the causes, symptoms, and treatment for it. Piles develop because of pressure over the hemorrhoidal veins, the vein which passes through the anal region. Whenever these veins are in stress or pressure, piles may develop. If you see the simple causes, they are long sitting, long-standing, constipation, pregnancy. Constipation is the main reason for this problem. At the time of defecation, patient stress and strain, so the piles develop.

Same happens at the time of the pregnancy. ( months burden is there because of the fetal head, bulky uterus and even after delivery patient may develop constipation. Now, if we see the types of piles are internal, external, bleeding, non-bleeding, painful and painless piles. Non-bleeding and painless piles are more dangerous than the opposite one. 1st and 2nd grade piles are easy to treat. It goes easily with the medicinal treatment, hot sit bath, ice-cube fermentation then injection therapy and OPD can also be done.

But if piles are at grade 3 or 4, 4th-grade piles is also called prolapse piles because it is coming out of the anal region. It may convert to carcinoma, malignancy, tumor, tuberculosis and many other diseases. Never take this for granted. 3rd and 4th-grade piles need surgery only. Surgery types: stapler, laser, anal dilatation. How can you come to know that you are suffering from piles? Patient can see piles when it comes out. Symptoms of piles are bleeding, pain, itching, burning sensation. Pain is always not there. If you are not suffering from pain, doesn't mean that you do not have piles. Same with bleeding. If bleeding is there, you will consult a doctor. But if bleeding is not there, pain and burning sensation is there so you have to consult a doctor. Next time I am going to talk about fissure, fistula, paranoia sinus, again about the anal disorder which is more dangerous than piles. Thank you for watching my video. For more information or to consult me, you can directly contact me through Lybrate.

Thank You.
Play video
Constipation In Infants And Children
Myself Dr. Udita Goel.

I m a homeopath practicing in Crossing Republic, Ghaziabad. Today I will talk about constipation in infants and children. This is one of the most common issue for parents today. If a child having constipation, it will hamper his or her physical and mental health. Constipation is a condition of passage of small stool, small and hard stool basically with straining and pain during defecation. Basically, we can understand it in two ways, either the stool is hard that causes a lot of pain in defecation or the motion is soft but still the child has to strain a lot. Now, what are the causes in infants? First of all, physiological cause that is breastfed babies may only have bowel open in 2-7 days, that is normal and dietary causes that under nourishment, under feeding or lack of fluids especially during hot weather in early introduction of solid foods.

In children, the causes are faulty dietary habits, faulty bowel habits, inhibition to go to lavatory due to unhygienic conditions, lack of time, due to cold and dark weather, accumulation of faeces in rectum, may lead to, may causes irritation which may lead to false diarrhoea, that is, repeatedly going to lavatory. The prognosis of constipation in homeopathy is good. Our therapeutic aim is to correct the cause. For general management, we can increase the intake of fluids, fluid juices, correct our dietary habits, that is, more fibrous diet, lack of fast foods, junk food.

Now most important is reassurance to the patients or the parents of the children. Most common is help the child to improve his or her bowel movements, Some of the common medicines for constipation in homeopathy are Bryonia, Aesculus, Alumina, Calcarea Carbonica, Nux Vomica, Opium, Silicea. Now that is for today. If you want to consult, you can contact me through lybrate.
Having issues? Consult a doctor for medical advice