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ImageIt's a common and some what embarrassing problem for people. While some get constipated on few occasions, for others it's more like a daily routine.

Constipation is no longer a problem affecting only the middle aged and the elderly, even people in their twenties suffer from this problem. Do you spend a lot of time in the loo to answer nature's call? Do you have irregular timing for emptying your bowels? Do you experience pain while passing stools and feel exhausted after visiting the toilet? If yes then you might be suffering from constipation.


Constipation can be defined as a condition wherein one experiences difficulty in passing stools coupled with fewer frequency of stools. When constipation occurs, the stools are difficult to pass as they are hard and dry. Some people also experience pain while passing stools or a sense of bloating or sensation of a full bowel. Constipation symptoms vary from person to person.


There are various causes for constipation. One of the reasons is lack of fibre in the diet. Gastroenterologist Dr Viral Patrawala says, "Consumption of fibre in the diet helps in the production of stools as fibre forms the bulk of stools. If there is no fibre in the diet, the stools will be less and there's less urge to pass stools." He says that thyroid problems like hyperthyroid and hormonal changes in the body too can cause constipation. Other reasons for constipation include insufficient intake of liquids in the body, lack of exercise, poor bowel habits like ignoring the urge to exercise bowel movement, excessive intake of alcohol and caffeine that causes dehydration in the body thus, making stools hard and dry. People suffering form Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) can suffer from constipation. IBS is characterised by abdominal pain, cramping and bowel movements. Sometimes even side effects of certain medicines can cause constipation.

By Lisa Antao

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