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Understanding Constipation: Causes and Management 

What is Constipation? Constipation is a common condition where you may experience difficulty in evacuating stools, often straining to do so, or you may have infrequent bowel movements. The stools can be dry and hard, making the process uncomfortable. 

How the Digestive System Works Normally, the colon absorbs water and electrolytes from food remnants as they progress toward expulsion. If this process slows down, too much water gets absorbed, making the stools dry and hard. 

Common Causes of Constipation: 

  • Dietary Factors: Low fiber intake and insufficient fluid consumption can lead to constipation. 
  • Physical Inactivity: Lack of exercise can reduce bowel motility. 
  • Medications: Some painkillers, diuretics, blood pressure medications, antidepressants, and certain supplements can contribute to constipation. 
  • Overuse of Laxatives: Ironically, while laxatives are used to alleviate constipation, their overuse can lead to dependency and worsen constipation symptoms. 

Conditions Associated With Increased Risk: 

  • Pregnancy 
  • Depression 
  • Under-active thyroid 
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) 
  • Diverticulitis 

Managing and Preventing Constipation To manage or prevent constipation, consider the following tips: 

  • Increase Dietary Fiber: Include whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, lentils, chickpeas, nuts, and seeds in your diet. 
  • Hydration: Drink 8-10 glasses of fluid per day. Limit caffeine as it can dehydrate. 
  • Regular Exercise: Helps stimulate intestinal activity. 
  • Medications: If lifestyle changes are not effective, consult with a healthcare professional about appropriate use of laxatives, which include: 
  • Bulk-forming laxatives: Absorb water and bulk up the stool. 
  • Stool softeners: Increase water content in the stool. 
  • Stimulant laxatives: Trigger bowel contractions. 
  • Osmotic laxatives: Draw fluid into the bowels. 

When to See a Health Professional If you are frequently constipated and lifestyle changes don’t help, it’s important to consult a healthcare professional to rule out underlying conditions and discuss effective treatment options. 

Advertisement Compliance Reminder This blog is for educational purposes only and does not provide medical advice. It aims to offer general health-related information on constipation and should not be seen as a recommendation for any specific treatment or product. 

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