Constipation is when you have trouble having bowel movements. Your stools may be very hard, making them so difficult to pass that you have to strain. Or you may feel like you still need to have a bowel movement even after you’ve had one.

Most cases of constipation are caused by changes in diet or physical activity, including not drinking enough fluids. A number of things can affect this process. These include not drinking enough fluids, not being active enough, not eating enough fiber, taking certain drugs, not going to the bathroom when you have the urge to have a bowel movement and regularly using laxatives. Any of these things can cause the stools to move more slowly through your intestines, leading to constipation.

Symptoms
– Stools harder than normal.
– Infrequent, difficult passage of stools.
– Sudden decrease in frequency of bowel movements.
– Bowel still feels full after bowel movement.

Diet
Reduce your intake of sugar, refined foods, animal products (meats and dairy), caffeine, alcohol, soda, and salt.
Drink more water and eat more fiber, vegetables, whole grains, and vegetable proteins.
Eat plenty of fiber. If you are adding fiber to your diet, start slowly and gradually increase the amount.
Make sure to drink plenty of water too.

Prevention
Chronic constipation can usually be prevented with a combination of dietary changes, extra fluid intake, exercise, and, when necessary, short-term use of a laxative.

Advice
Drink plenty of fluids–at least 8 glasses a day. Fluids can include water, juices, soup, tea and other drinks. Set aside time to have a bowel movement. A good time may be after breakfast or any other meal.