Health Check: what causes constipation?

Constipation is a common digestive problem wherein an individual faces difficulty in passing stool. In most cases, this condition occurs when too much water is absorbed by the body leaving the food present in the colon dry and hard. Veterans state that the slower the food moves through the entire digestive system, the more water is absorbed in the process. This further causes uneasy and painful stool dissemination. There are many home remedies and medicines like MiraLAX which can help treat chronic constipation. But, it is generally recommended to live a healthy lifestyle to avoid such conditions from occurring.

Woman suffering from abdominal pain.

Signs and Symptoms of Constipation

One of the primary and most prominent symptoms of this digestive problem is an increased difficulty in passing stool. Other common symptoms include:

  • Pain in the stomach
  • Experiencing stomach cramps
  • Unable to eat problem or loss of appetite
  • feeling bloated and nauseous

Causes of Constipation

Several factors can cause the onset of constipation in the body. While some of them can be easily prevented by brining simple changes in one’s daily habits and overall lifestyle, many of them on the other hand, cannot be avoided as they may be associated with psychological problems or chronic diseases.

Common causes of constipation are as follows:

  1. Lack of exercise: Veterans claim that individuals who exercise regularly do not generally face this issues. It is because the colon responds well to a body that is fit and healthy. When the muscles of the body are weak, the body is unable to perform its job in a manner it should and hence, many problems including constipation propel.


  1. Other medications: Constipation is a common side effect of a plethora of medication. Some of them include antacids which typically comprise of aluminum, iron supplements, tranquilizers and sedatives, antidepressants, antispasmodics, and bismuth salts.


  1. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): This is another common cause of constipation. People who suffer from IBS usually have a very sluggish bowel movement, along with experiencing abdominal discomfort, cramps, gases, and feeling bloated all the time.
  1. Abuse of laxatives: It has been seen that most individuals inappropriately use laxatives. For instance, individuals suffering from anorexia nervous or bulimia use laxatives to ease themselves. You can check what are the consequences of anorexia nervous here. But for people who suffer from chronic or long-term constipation, extended use of such laxatives may help relieve them from the pain. While in the past, long term use of laxatives was thought to cause damage to the nerve cells of the colon and even interfere with its ability to contract and expand to perform its essential function, with the introduction of newer formulations, laxatives have made the outcome (constipation) a rare one.


  1. Lifestyle Changes: As a matter of fact, traveling can cause constipation as it disrupts the normal diet and daily routine of an individual. Aging is another factor that affects the regularity of intestinal activities and muscle tone. Pregnancy can also cause women to face constipation due to hormonal changes and sometimes even because of an enlarged uterus pressuring the intestines.
  1. Ignoring the urge to Poop: When you have to go, you have to go. Stopping the urge to poop or hold to your bowel movement, for any given reason, can cause constipation and many other issues to surface. One must not mess with their bowel movement. The better the bowel movement, the most hygienic will be the body.


  1. Not eating a balanced diet: A diet that’s too low in fiber and fluids and also high in fats can cause severe constipation. Increasing fiber to one’s diet not only helps in absorbing water but makes the stool larger, softer, and more comfortable to pass as well.


  1. Hormonal Imbalance: Hormones play an essential role in balancing the fluids present in the body. When they get upset, or there’s an imbalance in hormones due to the presence of a disease or condition, it can lead to constipation.