Three Leading Causes of Constipation

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1. Dietary Issues

Constipation is often caused by inadequate intake of water or fiber. When a person doesn't drink enough water, the body removes water from the intestines, making stool harder to pass. Plenty of fiber-filled foods allows the body to retain enough water for normal elimination. Fruits, whole grains and vegetables work naturally to prevent constipation. Foods to avoid when constipated:

  • Caffeine
  • Gluten
  • Red Meat
  • Dairy
  • Alcohol

2. Reactions to Medication

Constipation is a side effect of many common medications, including:

  • Antacids
  • Antidepressants
  • Narcotics
  • Antihistamines
  • Pills containing iron
  • Some sedatives and antihypertensive medications

3. Overuse of Laxatives

When people use laxatives too frequently, the bowel can come to rely on them, resulting in a loss of muscle function. It's easy for a reliance on laxatives to result in increasing constipation, which in turn often results in the perceived need for more laxatives.