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Constipation Symptoms and Causes

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Young woman sitting on the bed with pain

If a person is feeling uncomfortable, bloated, not visiting the toilet regularly or feeling backed up, then it is a sign of constipation. There is nothing to feel embarrassed about this as on a regular basis lots of people have to deal with constipation. Women commonly suffer from constipation as food moves slower through a woman’s intestines. On the GI tract, effects of female hormones also cause constipation. Consumption of fatty foods and foods low in fiber can cause constipation.

Few effective treatments are available for constipation, if you feel difficulty in going. To prevent constipation from worsening, the person must keep drinking water, hot water with lemon juice, herbal tea, as this can stimulate the colon.

There are a few symptoms of constipation. The stool doesn’t contain adequate water as more fluid gets absorbed into the intestines itself and this leaves the person constipated. If stools are small, dry and hard, or if less than three bowel movements happen in a week or there is difficulty in passing stools then it is a constipated condition. In other words if the person goes to the bathroom a lot less as compared to other times, then it is a constipation case.

The best way to treat constipation is to start with good habits like consuming more fiber in the diet, to make stools softer, bulkier and easy to pass. Fiber intake can be increased gradually to get enough of it in regular diet. Brown rice, breads, cereals, bran, asparagus, carrots, Brussels sprouts, apricots, raisins, prunes and beans are rich sources of fiber.

Also fatty foods and foods low in fiber must be avoided. Drinking at least 8 glasses of water per day is helpful in constipation. To ensure bowels keep moving, exercise regularly.

Laxatives like bulk forming laxatives, lubricant laxatives, saline laxatives, stimulant laxatives and stool softeners are given on a short term to the patient as last resort when even after adding water and fiber to the diet, the constipation problem continues.  A medicine you have been taken also could cause constipation, but it should be stopped only after the doctor’s advice. Enemas are sometimes given to provide relief from constipation. Castor oil or mineral oil is taken by some people but doctors do not recommend it as it could lead to vitamin deficiency.

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