Constipation. It’s more common than you think.
Whether you suffer from constipation frequently, or occasionally, knowing what causes it will help you avoid digestive discomfort and keep you feeling light, happy and relaxed.
What is constipation?
From a regular feeling of infrequent or difficulty passing a stool1, the effects of constipation can cause a range of issues. But despite differing symptoms, it’s a common problem shared by many, and luckily one that can usually be managed effectively.
Could you have constipation?
When it comes to bowel movements, everyone has their own unique rhythm. Some people might pass a stool every morning, others might do so every other day21.
- Only passing pellet-like stools
- Hard or painful stools
- Difficulty going to the toilet
- Fewer bowel movements than usual
- Stomach ache and cramping
Constipation doesn’t just have physical symptoms either. It commonly makes you feel frustrated, not in control of your body and uncomfortable. And you’re not alone. The feeling of being weighed down by constipation is common, with around 16 % of the population2 experiencing it at some point.
While women and the elderly are more prone to constipation4,21, if you’re in any way dehydrated or lacking fibre in your diet, you might be making it harder for your bowels to find their regular rhythm4.
What happens during constipation?
Your digestive system is a complex group of organs working together to convert food into energy and nutrients23. Constipation is caused by stool spending too much time in the colon. The colon absorbs too much water from the stool, making it hard and dry. Hard, dry stool is more difficult for the muscles of the rectum to push out of the body12.
What causes constipation?
Eating too many of the wrong foods, travelling, or simply getting older, lack of exercise, medications, illness and hormonal changes associated with pregnancy4. Take a look at the different issues that might cause you difficulty passing stools.