Constipation is a common digestive issue that affects people of all ages. It is characterized by infrequent or difficult bowel movements, and can be caused by a variety of factors. These include a low-fiber diet, lack of physical activity, certain medications, and mental health conditions such as depression or an eating disorder. Constipation can also be a side effect of many prescription and over-the-counter medications, including aluminum-containing antacids, antispasmodics, antidepressants, tranquilizers and sedatives, bismuth salts, iron supplements, diuretics, anticholinergics, calcium channel blockers, and anticonvulsants. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent constipation.
Eating a balanced diet that includes plenty of fiber-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help keep your digestive system regular. Regular physical activity is also important for maintaining regularity. Additionally, if you are taking any medications that may be causing constipation, talk to your doctor about alternative treatments. If you are already experiencing constipation, there are several home remedies that may help. Drinking plenty of fluids and eating foods high in fiber can help to soften stools and make them easier to pass.
Additionally, over-the-counter laxatives may be used to help relieve constipation. However, it is important to speak with your doctor before taking any laxatives as they can cause side effects.