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Constipation: Causes, Symptoms and Home remedies


NCERT Infraxa

Constipation is basically, defined as having less than three bowel movements in a week.

Constipation has become is a common problem nowadays, that can affect people of all ages. This could mean that you are not able to pass stool regularly or that your stomach is not being cleared completely.

Constipation usually occurs when too much water is absorbed from food. Causes of constipation include decreased physical activity, certain medications, and aging.

The severity of constipation varies from person to person. Many people have constipation only for a short time, but for others, constipation can be a long-term (chronic) problem that causes severe pain and discomfort and affects the quality of life.

Apart from the need to push hard to have a bowel movement, there are other symptoms as well, which are described below.

Treatment for chronic constipation often depends on the underlying cause. Lifestyle changes may provide relief in some cases of constipation.

Constipation Symptoms

The signs and symptoms of constipation are as follows:


The main job of your colon is to absorb water from food. After this, the food becomes a stool, then the muscles of the colon push the stool out through the rectum.

If stool stays in the colon for too long, it hardens and can be difficult to pass.

Poor diet often causes constipation. Fiber and drinking enough water are essential to help keep stools soft.

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Fiber-rich foods usually come from plants. Fiber comes in two forms – 1. Soluble and 2. Insoluble.

Soluble fiber can dissolve in water and form a soft, gel-like material as it passes through the digestive tract.

Insoluble fiber maintains its structure through the digestive tract.

Both forms of fiber bind with stool, increasing its weight and size while also softening it. This makes it easier to pass through the rectum.

Stress, changes in routine, and health problems that slow down the contraction of the colon muscles or reduce the urge to have a bowel movement can all make you constipated.

Common causes of constipation include:

Certain underlying health issues also cause constipation such as:

Prevention / Home remedies

The following measures can be taken to prevent constipation:


These tests are mainly done to diagnose constipation:

Medical History

If your doctor suspects that you have trapped stool in your bowel (fecal impaction), there are a variety of diagnostics available to check for this.

First, the doctor will take your medical history and do a physical exam so that they can know what type of constipation you have.

Physical examination

A physical examination can reveal the diseases that have caused constipation.

Other Tests

Many more tests are available for those people who did not make any difference with any kind of treatment. such as:

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Constipation Treatment

Chronic constipation is often treated with dietary and lifestyle changes. So that constipation can be cured.

If these changes do not help, then the doctor will prescribe medicines. And if medicines do not work, then constipation is treated by surgery.

Diet and lifestyle changes

The doctor will advise making the following changes which will give relief to constipation:


There are many different methods of laxatives. Each laxative works in different ways to make bowel movements easier. The following options are available over the counter:

Pelvic muscle exercises

Doctors do pelvic muscle exercises, this helps our pelvic muscles become strong and bowel movement becomes easier.


People whose constipation did not make any difference even with all the other treatments. They are left with the option of surgically removing part of the stomach. There is rarely a need to surgically open the entire abdomen.

Alternative medicine

Except above, some alternative treatments along with medicines are also available through which constipation can be cured. Constipation can also be relieved by the use of probiotics such as lactobacillus.

Constipation Complications

Disadvantages of persistent constipation include:

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