Constipation – Causes and Complications


Constipation is defined as having difficulty emptying the bowels usually associated with hardened feces. It causes slower movement of food waste through the digestive tract.

The amount of bowel movement is flexible. Therefore, unless there are less than three bowel movements in a week accompanied by dry, hard and painful eliminations, the condition is not considered as constipation.


Causes of Constipation

  • Lack of fiber intake
  • Lack of water intake
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Lack of Sleep
  • Stress, Anxiety, Depression
  • Aging- Old age
  • Pregnancy
  • Poor bowel habits
  • Hormonal imbalances especially Thyroid
  • Certain medications- iron supplements, antidepressants, antacids

Symptoms of Constipation

  • Passing stool less than three times a week
  • Dry hard painful bowel movements
  • Straining to expel with abdomen pain
  • Incomplete evacuation of bowels
  • Abdomen Bloated

Complications of Constipation

  • Piles/Haemorrhoids
  • Fissure in ano
  • Rectal Prolapse

Preventing Diet:

  • Include the fiber-rich diet like fruits- banana, guava, oranges
  • green leafy vegetables,
  • dry fruits- prunes, fig, raisins
  • Whole grains
  • Avoid Alcohol, coffee
  • Processed, packaged foods, fried foods, frozen foods
  • Limit intake of dairy
  • Refined flour

Other measures include

  • Improving physical activities
  • Following regular bowel habits without ignoring the urge
  • Relieving/ managing stress