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Constipation occurs when bowel movements become difficult or less frequent.  It can be acute or chronic, and many varied factors can contribute to it, including:

  • Insufficient fluid intake
  • Insufficient fiber intake
  • Disruption of regular diet or routine, e.g. with traveling
  • Lack of exercise, or immobility
  • Lactose-intolerance
  • Other food allergies or intolerances
  • Stress
  • ‘Holding it in’ for too long – both literally and figuratively
    • Emotions play a big role in our physiological well-being, and ‘stuffing things down’ on an emotional level can lead to a back-up on a physiological level
  • Overuse of laxatives (stool softeners), which lead to sluggishness of the bowels over time
  • Eating Disorders
  • Depression
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s and MS
  • Antacid medications containing Calcium and Aluminum
  • Medications (especially strong pain medications, such as narcotics; antidepressants, and iron pills)
  • Pregnancy
  • Colon cancer

Symptoms of constipation may include:

  • Infrequent or difficult bowel movements
  • Abdominal distention and/or pain
  • Vomiting