Constipation is a common health issue that affects people of all ages. For many, constipation represents a short-term reversible condition, while for others it is a chronic condition which causes pain and discomfort that significantly affects the quality of life. If you do not pass stool on a regular basis, or you are not emptying your bowels completely, then you might have constipation. This disorder may cause your stool to become hard and lumpy, and it can also significantly reduce or increase it in size.
Constipation, if left untreated might lead to complications including the development of hemorrhoids, fecal impaction (stool getting stuck in the rectum) or bowel incontinence leading to an involuntary leakage of liquid stool.
Here are some of the main causes of constipation that might affect stool frequency and consistency.
1. Insufficient Liquid Intake
One of the most common reasons behind the constipation is due to inadequate intake of liquids during the day. If you do not drink enough water, you will directly influence the consistency of your stool. Less water means hardened stool that will require more intensified bowel movements to enable free passage and bowel emptying. Taking less water can lead to a prolonged passage of the stool, and lesser frequency of the bowel emptying.
If you want to keep your bowel habits balanced and regular, make sure you drink sufficient amounts of water each day.
2. Poor Diet
Poor dietary habits are also among the most common causes of constipation in each age group. Nutrition based foods that lack fibers has shown an increasing trend in the western diet. This is one of the reasons why there is an increase in the incidence of constipation and abnormal movements of the bowel in western countries.
Foods that are enriched with fibers, such as vegetables, have proven to act as natural stool softeners and stimulants of bowel movements. Therefore, one should ensure to have at least one meal during the day which will contain vegetables, beans, artichokes or lentils.
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