The causes of constipation may vary for each individual. The following points outline the main causes of constipation.
Regular consumption of fibre rich foods like fruit & vegetables, cereals, bran and bread helps to maintain regularity. The body does not absorb fibre so it travels through the system to the bowel, where it provides 'bulk' for the bowel motion. Fibre also absorbs water, making the motion soft and easier to pass.
Water makes the bowel motion soft and easier to pass. With insufficient fluid intake, bowel motions become hard and dry, causing pain during a bowel motion.
Exercise helps the muscles work to move the waste through the system. Often when people are sick or in hospital, they experience constipation due to lack of exercise.
Some drugs may cause constipation eg analgesics, such as codeine and morphine, some antacids, iron and calcium supplements. Please seek the advice of your GP or pharmacist.
When the normal body clock is disrupted, e.g when travelling, this can upset the routine bowel habits and result in constipation. Suppressing the need to go to the toilet can also lead to constipation.