Constipation is by definition a combination of 2 things or more of these symptoms more than ¼ of your time:

  • Straining during a bowel movement
  • Hard stools
  • Incomplete evacuation
  • Two or fewer bowel movements in a week


  • Dietary causes
    • Inadequate water intake
    • Inadequate fiber intake
    • Change of diet or routine (like traveling)
  • Some medicines: like iron, some antacids, some tvhypertension medications and overuse of laxatives
  • Sedentary life style: lack of walking or exercise.
  • Resisting the urge to pass a motion; because of pain like in anal fissure or piles.
  • Stress and depression.
  • Some medical conditions like hypothyroidism (lazy thyroid gland) or pariknsonism.
  • IBS: Irritable bowel syndrome.
  • Pregnancy
  • Colon cancer

The vast majority of causes of constipation are benign but you need to consult with your doctor if:

  • Constipation is a new problem for you and lasted more than 2 weeks
  • You have blood in stools
  • You are losing weight although you are not dieting
  • You have severe pain with bowel movements

How to manage simple constipation:

  • Check and fix any diet changes that might have led to change of bowel habits.
  • Also review any new medications with your doctor. Increase your fluid and fiber intake.
  • Improve your physical fitness by exercise.
  • You may use over the counter stool softeners for few days.
  • If there is no improvement in 2 weeks give your doctor a visit.