Constipation is a condition causes infrequent bowel movements. Three to twenty-one times a week is considered normal for most adults. If a person has less than three bowel movements a week, he or she is constipated. There are several possible causes of constipation including: certain medications, suppressing of bowel movements, lack of fiber and hormonal problems. Antidepressants, iron supplements, and narcotic-pain relievers can cause constipation. If this is found to be the culprit, a doctor may recommend lowering the dosage or switching to another type of medication. Many people make a habit of suppressing their bowel movements if it is an inconvenient time for them to go. Over time, this can lead to constipation. Health experts recommend that patients set a regular time of using the bathroom and try to stick with it.
The typical American diet is very low in fiber. Nutritionists recommend that people get between 25-30 grams of Fiber per day and most people do not get anywhere close to that. Fiber is a nutrient that helps keep bowel movements regular and if a person is not getting enough of it, he or she will be constipated. Increasing oneâ€™s intake of fruits, whole grains and vegetables can help a person get the fiber that he or she needs.
Constipation is common in women during pregnancy because of the hormonal changes. Additionally, some women may also experience constipation during certain times in their menstrual cycle. Drinking plenty of water and exercising can help promote regularity in both of these cases. Constipation can usually be alleviated by making a few lifestyle changes, but if a person still suffers from this condition; he or she should consult with a doctor. Prolonged constipation is a health risk all by itself and can be an indication of a more serious health problem.