Constipation, costiveness, or irregularity is a condition of the digestive system in which a person (or animal) experiences hard feces that is difficult to expel. This usually happens because the colon absorbs too much water from the food. If the food moves through the gastro-intestinal tract too slowly, the colon may absorb too much water, resulting in feces that are dry and hard. Defecation may be extremely painful, and in severe cases (fecal impaction) lead to symptoms of bowel. The term constipation is used for severe constipation that prevents passage of both stools and gas. Causes of constipation may be dietary, hormonal, anatomical, a side effect of medications (e.g., some opiates), or an illness or disorder. Treatments consist of changes in dietary and exercise habits, the use of laxatives, and other medical interventions depending on the underlying cause. Signs and symptoms In common constipation, the stool is hard, difficult, and painful to pass. Usually, there is an infrequent urge to void. Straining to pass stool may cause hemorrhoids. In later stages of constipation, the abdomen may become distended and diffusely tender and cramp, occasionally with enhanced bowel sounds. The definition of constipation includes the following: Infrequent bowel movements (typically three times or fewer per week) Difficulty during defecation (straining during more than 25% of bowel movements or a subjective sensation of hard stools), or The sensation of incomplete bowel evacuation. What causes constipation? To understand constipation, it helps to know how the colon, or large intestine, works. As food moves through the colon, the colon absorbs water from the food while it forms waste products, or stool. Muscle contractions in the colon then push the stool toward the rectum. By the time stool reaches the rectum it is solid, because most of the water has been absorbed.Constipation occurs when the colon absorbs too much water or if the colon's muscle contractions are slow or sluggish, causing the stool to move through the colon too slowly. As a result, stools can become hard and dry. Common causes of constipation are: · not enough fiber in the diet · lack of physical activity (especially in the elderly) · medications · milk · irritable bowel syndrome · changes in life or routine such as pregnancy, aging, and travel · abuse of laxatives · ignoring the urge to have a bowel movement · dehydration · specific diseases or conditions, such as stroke (most common) · problems with the colon and rectum · problems with intestinal function (chronic idiopathic constipation) Symptoms of Constipation Following are the major constipation symptoms: 1. Difficulty in elimination of the hard faecal matter 2. Cramping in a lower abdomen 3. Mouth ulcer 4. Bad breath 5. Nausea 6. Headache 7. Coated tongue 8. Dullness on skin What should I eat? Eat plenty of fiber. At least 2 cups of fruits and 2 1/2 cups of vegetables per day is recommended. It is suggested that men age 50 and younger consume at least 38 grams of fiber per day, while women age 50 and younger should consume at least 25 grams per day. Add extra fiber to your diet by eating cereals that contain bran or by adding bran as a topping on your fruit or cereal. If you are adding fiber to your diet, start slowly and gradually increase the amount. This will help reduce gas and bloating. Make sure to drink plenty of water.There is lots of medicine available: Bowtrol Colon Cleanser Bowtrol is an all-natural herbal treatment that has improved the lives of hundreds of thousands with safe and effective internal cleansing. Bowtrol was developed for people suffering from constipation and can be taken as long as needed. Bowtrel maximizes your elimination without discomfort or loose stools, while cleaning your colon and lymphatic system. Visit NaturalLabs.co.uk for Bowtrol or Colon Cleanser. Related Articles - Bowtrol, Colon Cleanser, Email this Article to a Friend! Receive Articles like this one direct to your email box!Subscribe for free today!