What Is Constipation?
Constipation is infrequent or hard bowel movements. This condition happens to everyone at some point in their life, and can commonly affect children. Constipation can be painful and uncomfortable and is typically a result of a lack of fluid and fiber.
There is also no “normal” as it pertains to the frequency of bowel movements. Therefore, there is no exact number of bowel movements that each patient should have a week. If an adult or child is having fewer bowel movements, or they have a hard, dry, or painful bowel movement, they may be constipated.
Causes of Constipation
Constipation can be a result of various conditions or a result of diet and environmental factors. These can include:
- Insufficient fluid consumption
- A low fiber diet
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Painful anal conditions
- Hormonal imbalance
- Overuse of laxatives
- Spinal cord damage
- Lack of exercise
- Medical condition
- Suppressing the urge to have a bowel movement
Constipation is typically a temporary condition and can be resolved. Some common treatments can include changes in diet, fluid consumption, and an increase in physical activity. A consultation with the doctors at Concorde Gastroenterology can determine the best course of treatment for each patient.
How Can I Prevent Constipation?
The following are some ways of preventing constipation and promoting healthy bowel habits.
- Drinking water and other fluids
- Exercising on a regular basis
- Eating food that is high in fiber
- Limiting caffeine or alcohol consumption
- Scheduling time to visit the rest room
- Recognizing the urge to have a bowel movement