Constipation is a common condition which can affect people of any age. It is defined as infrequent bowel movements in comparison to the usual pattern, difficulty during defecation, hard stools and/or the sensation of incomplete bowel evacuation. In some people constipation can be experienced alternately with diarrhoea.
Constipation can be uncomfortable, frustrating, and some may find it embarrassing but it can also lead to the reabsorption of toxins, which the body is trying to excrete. Understanding why it’s happening is the first step in reducing the occurrence of constipation.
The slow passage of stool through the large intestine can lead to prolonged absorption of water resulting in stools, which are dry, hard and difficult or uncomfortable to pass. There are a number of potential reasons why constipation may occur, such as a diet lacking in fibre, lack of water consumption, lack of motility in the gastrointestinal tract due to a sedentary lifestyle or conditions such as hypothyroidism, food intolerances, anatomical defects, hormones and psychological factors.