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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

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!

3720 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!

3062 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!

Chronic Constipation - Myths and Facts!

MBBS, MD-Medicine, DNB-Gatroenterology
Gastroenterologist, Gurgaon
Chronic Constipation - Myths and Facts!

Constipation is one of the biggest digestive complaints about people across the globe. Patients suffering from chronic constipation can go through some of the irritating symptoms such as a headache, bloating, irritation etc. Not to mention it is a time consuming and expensive problem to get rid of. It is estimated that each year few crores of Indians visit a doctor to address chronic constipation and buy drugs worth millions.

What is chronic constipation?
There is no proper definition of chronic definition. For some it could be irregular bowel movement for 7-8 days, for others it could be a difficulty of passing stools. While others could describe chronic constipation as something that feels like a bowel movement, but the stool doesn’t pass even after sitting for long. A chronic patient with constipation can have small, hard or a combination of small and hard stool. One easy way to understand a chronic constipation symptom is the frequency of stool passing. For a constipation patient, the stool passes less than thrice a week and the tendency lasts for more than 6-7 months at stretch, if not treated.

The pain point of chronic constipation:
Patients suffering from chronic constipation often undergoes distress and anxiety due to lack of knowledge about their situation. Magnified fear about the root cause of the problem along with acute discomfort can make life difficult. Constipation can slow down the performance of a person and restrains from engaging in recreational activities. It is not uncommon for a person to get into depression. It is therefore important to consult a doctor to address the problem.

Some myths associated with chronic constipation:
Myth- Less than one bowel movement a day is the definition of chronic constipation:
Truth- It is estimated that less than 50 percent of the people ten to have one bowel movement per day. 90 percent of the overall population tends to have a 3-21 bowel movement in a week. The truth is, even 3 bowel movement in a week is normal.

Myth- Chronic constipation is the result of accumulation of toxins in the intestine
Truth- There is no evidence of any correlation between the toxin accumulation and chronic constipation. However, if a person faces constipation even after consuming the milk of magnesia, fibre, and laxative, it makes sense to consult a doctor.

Myth- Constipation increases with age:
Truth- While bowel movement can decrease with age, there is no evidence to prove that older people are more likely to suffer from chronic constipation. It is estimated that from the overall sample, close to 15-20 percent of the chronic constipation patients are elderly (above the age of 60).

Myth- consuming the right diet and fluid along with exercise can help a person refrain from chronic constipation.
Truth: Chronic constipation is often psychological. A history of trauma can set chronic constipation in motion. Constipation may coexist along with depression as well. Other factors such as low thyroid and an underlying medical condition can also lead to chronic constipation.

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

2018 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!

2029 people found this helpful

Popular Questions & Answers

I am suffering from chronic constipation and bleeding piles. I have used many medicines, but no proper result. Pl. Suggest me what shall I do now?

Bachelor of Unani Medicine and Surgery (B.U.M.S)
Ayurveda, Kanpur
sootshekhar ras 125 mg twice a day panchsakar avleh 2-3 gm twice a day arshoghn malham bol parpati
1 person found this helpful

I am having anal fissure for 10 yrs. Also now 2 permanent anal tags are visible. I have pain during constipation. Is surgery only solution? Any solution in ayurveda?

Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS), Certificate Course In Ksharasutra Therapy
Ayurveda, Mumbai
Hot sitz bath and jatyadi oil basti may help you. If your fissures will heal with this, skin tag can be removed in local anesthesia also. No need to go for surgery.

I am 20 years old. I am becoming thin day today. There is no variation in blood test, thyroid test, sugar level. I am so hungry. But I suffer from constipation. Can you suggest a solution.

MD - Obstetrtics & Gynaecology, FCPS, DGO, Diploma of the Faculty of Family Planning (DFFP)
Gynaecologist, Mumbai
Most of medical challanges need doctor to listen to detailed medical history in form of questions and answers, examination of patient and sometimes reports so meet concerned doctor.- Gynecologist and MD physician.

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
Risk Factors Of Chronic Functional Constipation
Good evening!

I m Dr. Vijay Arora. I m a surgeon at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital. I m the head of the department of general and laparoscopic surgery.

I also run a clinic which is called the Colo-Rectal Clinic. Colon and rectum are the parts of our body related to passing stool. The commonest problem the patients come to me with related to these is constipation. I m going to talk to you today about constipation. Everyone has felt constipated once in a lifetime but when it is a temporary phenomenon when one day or two days after fasting or after other reasons reasons of some ailment like fever you are constipated that will get relieved when you come to normal lifestyle. But when constipation is persistent then most patients come and say I have constipation. It is probably because of piles or they may be having painful defecation that means pain when passing stool and that may be the cause of constipation. So constipation with or without pain need to have evaluation. It is not alright to take over the counter treatment that I had ispaghol, I had hard, I had any other medication that somebody prescribed. When you have a chronic constipation particularly if you have pain or you need to strain to pass stool then you must have the colorectal examination conducted on you. Without examining the area of your passage where the stool comes out from the diagnosis of piles or other associated causes cannot be made. Sometimes tests are also conducted but the first examination is a clinical examination which you must do. Most of the patients feel I have piles and the piles are either bleeding not bleeding, painful not painful, but we when we examine a patient find that there may be many diseases in that area. You may be having a cut in the margin of the anal canal which is the passage, it is possibly fissures or you may actually be having piles. Sometimes the reason may be more sinister and dangerous. You may be having cancer. Without examination you tend to take certain medications without knowing whether or not they are right for constipation. Today you are told there are many medication available over the counter take this and your constipation is gone. But if it is not gone then it is imperative it is necessary that you have examination. One of the reason for constipation in females particularly is that after child birth or even just with aging. The area of the anal canal which is the passage for stool becomes tight or starts to protrude out which we called prolapse. When you have a prolapse it may not be visible to your eye, it may be only inside and can only be diagnosed by some investigation. I get patients who come to me and say I have constipation I have seen my surgeon he says you don t have piles I don t know why constipation is not going that is where specialized X-Ray and MRI tests are done and we can come to a diagnosis.

My suggestion to you today is do not ignore constipation or what you called piles. Have it evaluate it, have it screened as well as investigated, come to a diagnosis and get the treatment. Thank you!
Play video
Constipation In Infants And Children
Constipation in children usually is functional and the result of stool retention. It becomes painful for the child and needs to be treated immediately once diagnosed.
Play video
Harmful Effects Of Constipation
Constipation is generally described as having fewer than three bowel movements a week. Some people experience chronic constipation that can interfere with their ability to go about their daily tasks , though occasional constipation is very common. One must take an appointment with doctor in case of unexplained and persistent changes in bowel habits.
Play video
Know More About Constipation

This is Dr. Pradnya Mulay. I am a homeopath. I practice at Kharghar Navi Mumbai.

I am going to talk about Constipation and its homeopathic management. Constipation is term that involves passing stools in irregular basis that is 3 or less a week, passing hard stools, feeling incomplete evacuation and sometimes need manual evacuation. There are some risk factors that pre dispose to person to constipation like low fiber diet, Laxative abuse, poor intake of fluids especially water, pregnancy, old age, less physical activity that is sedentary life style, excess of dairy products, calcium supplements, antidepressants. There are some medical conditions which lead to constipation those are hypothyroidism, diabetes maleates, irritable bowel syndrome, stoke, spinal cord injury, Parkinson s disease, multiple sclerosis. Symptoms that are associated with constipation are pain in abdomen, flatulent, blocked abdomen, headache, and nausea. Constipation if not treated well may land up to inner facial piles or rectal prolapse. So to avoid constipation one should take balanced diet, diet which is high in fiber, eat fresh and seasonal fruits and exercise daily for one hour, homeopathic medications for constipation via big bone for the people who are suffering from habitual constipation. Some of the medicines are Nux vomica. Where constipations in induced by sedentary life style, by un-attending natures call. Next is Boiny Alba, this is an excellent medicine for constipation where the stools are dry, hard and in lump form there is blocked abdomen. Alumina, this is wonderful medicine for constipation when there is no urge for days together bowels movements are extremely sluggish. Lycopodia, this medi is extremely effective in constipation, flatulent and irritable bowel syndrome. Antiprom, this is suited for the individuals who suffer with constipation along with diarrhea when there is anal itching and piles. Natramu, this is top rated homeopathic medicine for constipation when stools are passed from alternate days. Homeopathic medication are extremely effective for constipation in all the age groups. Acute and chronic both the cases respond wonderfully well to homeopathic medicines. These medicines help improve bowel motility and can even treat conditions like piles and fissures, which are the effect of long standing constipation. These medicines are natural and safe from any adverse side effects.

For homeopathic treatment of constipation contact me on Lybrate on in my clinic. Thank you.
Play video
Ayurvedic Approach for Treatment
Namaskar. Agar apko koi bhi samasya hai, koi bhi gambhir samasya hai jiska rog apko pata nahi chal pa raha hai ki ye hua kese aur ap usko theek nahi kar pa rahe hai. Aur agar apko kisi bhi tareeke ka asaadhya rog hai jese ki Thyroid, joint pain etc to mostly log ye bolte hai ki Thyroid ka thyrocon goli chalegi he chalegi, wo rukegi nahi aur uski quantity (mg) wo badhegi he badhegi. Aisa nahi hota hai. Ayurved me hum iska safal ilaaj within few months kar he dete hai. Thyroid hua, asthma hua, joint pain hua, constipation, piles ki dikkat ka Vaidic chikitsa bohot safal ilaaj kar rahi hai

Ayurved apki har marz ko jadd se khatam karne ki taakat rakhti hai. Aapko sahi jagah ki pehchan honi chahiye asli dawai jo asar kar rahi hai. Kyuki ayurved dheere kaam karta hai, ye matra bhranti hai. Ayurved kabhi dheere kam nahi karta agar sahi dawaiyo ka combination diya jaae to ayurved allopathy se bhi zada tez asar dikha sakta hai. Koi bhi dawai apko 1-2 mahine ke ander ander accha asar dikhadegi ki apko ye dawai kaam kar rahi hai.

Beauty oil ek humara hota hai. Jese ki agar apko stretch marks , pigmentation, kaale ghere, jhaaiya, black heads, mhu pe kisi bhi tarah ke patches aa chuke hai, pregnancy me stretch marks badh chuke hai. Beauty oil humne itna gazab ka formula banaya hua hai, ayurved ki proper herbal jadibootiyo se bana hua ki wo apke saae skin ke marks hata deta hai. Aur apko deta hai ek bedaag gora nikhar, ekdam apke chehre ko saaf kardeta hai.

Piles ki humari dawaiyo ka hum bohot baar zikar karte hai. Ek mahine ka humara set hai. Logo ko 20-25 saalo se piles hoi hai. Hum iska upchaar bohot he sahi prakaar se de rahe hai apko. Piles apki within one month theek hojaegi. Pehle he 5-10 dino me apko uska asar dekhne ko mil jaega. Apko pata chal jaega ki han ye dawai asar kar rahi hai. Apko satisfaction usi level pe hojatai hia, usi point of time pe hojati hai. Aap fir us dawai ko ek month tak continue karenge, apki piles ki dikkat humesha ke liye jadd se theek hojaegi.

Aur na he keval piles ki, agar apko anya koi dikkat hai, jese ki joint pain, balgum wali khasi, asthma ki dikkat bohot logo ko rehti hai. Ayurved ek jadibootiyo ka khazaana hai. Aap aaiye, ek baar miliye, apke saare rog theek hojaenge. Balgum, khasi, zukham agar kisi ko ban raha hai, hum apko iska ek mahine ke ander accha result dedenge. 3-4 mahine me hum apke asthma ko theek kardenge humesha ke liye.

Agar apko kuch bhi samasya hai, ap humse consult kar sakte hai. Lybrate pe hum apke liye 24*7 open hai. Aap kisi bhi tarah se humse mil sakte hai.
Having issues? Consult a doctor for medical advice