What causes constipation?

Main causes of constipation

When you know what causes constipation, you can take steps to avoid it.

The cause may be a simple one and one change in food habits or eating habits may help you get rid of constipation or reduce the occurrence of constipation.

What causes constipation?

The basic cause of constipation is that the food moves slowly in the large intestine (colon).

One of the functions of colon is to absorb water from the matter in it. So the longer digested food stays in colon, the more water is removed from it.

That causes the matter to become dry and hard. When a person tries to eliminate that matter, he experiences discomfort.

He has to strain to evacuate. As the passage of stool is not smooth, he may find that painful.

Bowel movement is controlled by the person. That means that the person can choose not to go to toilet even when he feels the urge. He may do that because of many reasons such as

  • toilet is not available at the moment.
  • he is too busy doing something and doesn't want to interrupt his work.
  • He feels lazy to get up and go to bathroom.

If this happens once in a while, it may not result in constipation. But when that happens too frequently, constipation can be the result.

Some other causes of constipation can also contribute to the problem. Apart from the delay in going to toilet, there are other reasons that can cause the dryness and the hardness of the matter in the colon.

Some causes of constipation:

  • Some Medicines
  • Old age
  • Dehydration
  • Bad food habits
  • Some conditions such as a stroke
  • Being habituated to taking laxatives
  • Problems with the digestive system, colon or rectum etc.

If left untreated, the above can contribute for the problem to become chronic Constipation.

Constipation is the cause for concern if Constipation

  • Is acute.
  • It starts for no reason.
  • Becomes chronic.
  • It persists for more than 2-3 months
  • There is blood in the stool.

In such a case, you should consult your doctor immediately.


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