Constipation is a very common condition that affects people of all ages. It is frequent in children, in adults it is most common in women than in men and in the elderly the prevalence increases for both sexes. Being constipated means that your digestive system does not work as frequently as it should. Frequency varies from one person to the other, but in general, a person suffers from constipation when they have three or less bowel movements per week, the feces can be hard and dry, there may be pain when defecating, abdominal bloating, and the sensation of not having fully defecated.

Most common symptoms of constipation:

  • Go to the bathroom 3 or less times in one week.
  • Hard, dry, and/or small feces.
  • Effort or pain when defecating.
  • Bloating or abdominal pain.
  • Sensation of not having completely defecated.

Causas del estreñimiento

Constipation can happen for many reasons. There are two types of constipation:

  • Primary constipation: is the most frequent one. It is produced by an alteration in the functioning of the intestine, generally caused by having bad habits related to diet, physical activity, holding the need to go to the bathroom, stress, etc.
  • Secondary constipation: this type is caused by diseases (e.g. Diabetes, Hypothyroidism, diseases that affect the nervous system or the smooth intestinal muscle) or due to drugs (antidepressants, antispasmodic, antacids, calcium supplements, iron, etc.).

Causes of primary or functional constipation

  • Drastic changes in diet or habits.
  • Not giving oneself enough time to go to the bathroom.
  • Resisting the impulse.
  • Pregnancy.
  • Low-fiber diet.
  • Not drinking enough water.
  • Inactive lifestyle.
  • Menopause.

How to prevent functional constipation?

If you want to know how to prevent the uncomfortable symptoms of constipation, bear in mind these recommendations:

  • Include fiber in your diet.
  • Drink enough water.
  • Do exercise daily.
  • Relax.
  • Take your time and listen to your body

The best way to help your digestive system to work optimally is to lead a healthy lifestyle.

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