May 3, 2022

What Causes Constipation?

Constipation is usually described as having fewer than three bowel movements in a week. Constipation occurs when the stool becomes too hard and dry. Your stool will become dry if it moves too slowly through the digestive tract or stays in the colon for too long.

There are a few reasons why your stool would move slower than normal through your digestive system. Some reasons include:

  • Nerve damage around the colon or rectum
  • Colon cancer
  • A bowel obstruction
  • Anal fissure
  • Rectal cancer
  • Rectum bulge through the back wall of the vagina
  • Narrowing of the colon

How Can I Relieve Constipation?

If you are experiencing fewer than three bowel movements in a week we recommend contacting your nearest gastroenterologist.

Some healthy habits to adopt to help you avoid constipation include:

  • Drinking more water
  • Avoiding dairy
  • Eat more dietary fiber
  • Take probiotics and prebiotics
  • Regular exercise

Some over the counter medication options are a great solution to constipation, but we recommend consulting with your gastroenterologist first because constipation can sometimes be a symptom of a more serious condition.

What Foods Are High In Fiber?

  • Apples
  • Peaches
  • Raspberries
  • Tangerines
  • Acorn squash
  • Raw broccoli
  • Raw brussels sprouts
  • Raw cabbage
  • Raw carrots
  • Raw cauliflower
  • Raw spinach
  • Cooked zucchini
  • Cooked black-eyed peas
  • Kidney beans
  • Lima beans
  • Cold All-Bran
  • Total Bran Flakes
  • Whole-grain cereal
  • Hot oatmeal
  • Wheatena
  • Whole-wheat bread
  • Seven-grain bread

If you are interested in changing your diet please consult with one of our licensed dietitians.