The foods most likely to cause constipation include dairy products such as milk and cheese, chocolate, red meat, fried foods, and foods high in refined carbohydrates such as cookies and cakes. What these foods have in common is a combination of low fiber and high fat.Continue Reading
Constipation occurs when bowel movements become difficult or less frequent than normal. Straining during bowel movements, hard stools and two or fewer bowel movements per week are common symptoms. Common causes include lack of fiber in the diet, insufficient water intake, lack of exercise, stress, ignoring the urge to go to the bathroom, overuse of laxatives and disruptions in normal routine. Some medical conditions can also cause constipation, such as hypothyroidism, diabetes, depression, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, and inflammatory bowel disease. Medications that can cause constipation include calcium channel blockers, diuretics, antidepressants, antihistamines, antacids and painkillers.
To relieve constipation, WebMD recommends drinking two to four extra glasses of water per day, drinking warm liquids in the morning and adding fruits and vegetables to the diet. A mild laxative may help. If constipation does not improve within two weeks, call a doctor. You should also call a doctor if your bowel movements are accompanied by blood or severe pain or if you are losing weight without dieting.Learn more about Nutrition & Diets