is one of the most common gastrointestinal
disorders and it is experienced
by most people at least once during
their lives. Constipation refers
to infrequent bowel movements.
An individual who is suffering
from constipation experiences
difficulty in passing stools,
passes hard stools or has no bowel
movements for at least three days.
people believe that regular bowel
movement is characterized by passing
a stool at least once during each
day. However, in reality, regular
bowel movement can vary from passing
stools three times each day to
three times each week. Constipation
is a temporary condition but it
can be prolonged in some cases,
especially in the elderly or in
individuals who are suffering
from certain chronic diseases.
Causes and Risk Factors
or deficiency of fiber in the
diet: Fiber maintains pliability
in the stools and ensures that
they pass smoothly. An ideal diet
should contain 20 to 35 grams
of fiber each day. However, this
amount is difficult to consume
because of the consumption of
processed food that has replaced
healthy food in modern diets.
A small fiber intake leads to
difficulty in passing stool which
results in constipation.
liquid intake: Liquids
help to hydrate the colon and
to digest the consumed food, which
aids to complete the bowel movement.
Liquids also prevent fecal matter
from drying and hardening. Sufficient
liquid intake, especially water
and fresh fruit or vegetable juices,
can help prevent and possibly
cure constipation. However, those
individuals who consume beverages
such as coffee, tea, alcohol or
soft drinks in excessive quantities
can develop constipation because
these drinks are dehydrating.