Constipation: A Rock-Hard Problem

Constipation, also known as irregularity, is a condition of the digestive system in which stools are hard and are difficult to pass.

In some cases, constipation may be quite painful, and in severe cases the hardened stool or feces, can be nearly impossible to pass resulting in a fecal impaction. There is often a decreased urge to have a bowel movement. If it occurs frequently, constipation can lead to hemorrhoids because of the straining associated with passing a hard stool.

What is a normal amount of bowel movements I should have each week? This common question is one asked to family physicians and gastroenterologist daily.

Family Practice Physicians and Gastroenterologist, physicians specializing in the practice of diseases dealing with the stomach and intestines, both explain that the normal amount of bowel movements each week depends solely on what is normal for you.

The frequency of one’s bowel movements depends on a variety of factors, including, diet, exercise and fluid intake. Poor diet seems to be primary cause of constipation most often. Even though constipation is routinely defined as having fewer than three bowel movements per week, it is important to remember that some people may have less and yet have no symptoms of constipation.

Constipation is a frequent complaint of patients visiting their physician.

It seemingly is most often reported by women and senior adults, over the age of 65. It is also often reported by pregnant women. However, when you realize the most often determined cause of constipation is dietary then it is also easy to realize that constipation can be fairly easily remedied.

Dietary changes are often some of the easiest lifestyle changes to implement in order to find relief from constipation.

One of the easiest dietary changes to make includes increasing dietary fiber so that daily intake equals 20-35 grams of fiber per day. Foods high in dietary fiber include beans, fresh fruits, whole grains, bran cereals and fresh vegetables, such as carrots, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage.

Avoid foods with little or no dietary fiber is also important. These foods include things like processed foods and meats.

Constipation might be a common problem but it is certainly not one that you have to live with. Talk with your physician in order to determine the cause of your constipation and your best course treatment.

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