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What Causes Constipation?

Andrew Bellingham

Andrew Bellingham

Pharmacist | 20+ Years | BPharm | Dip Clin Pharm

Constipation is a common digestive issue that can cause discomfort and inconvenience. Understanding its causes is essential in finding effective ways to prevent and manage it. 

How Should Your Bowel Function Normally?

In order to maintain a healthy digestive system, it’s essential to understand what constitutes normal bowel function.

Our digestive process involves breaking down and absorbing nutrients from the food we eat. After the nutrients are absorbed, waste products move through the intestines and reach the colon. The colon’s main role is to absorb water from the waste and form stool, which is then eliminated from the body during bowel movements.

In a healthy digestive system, regular and timely bowel movements occur, ensuring efficient waste removal.

Most Common Causes of Constipation

  • Low Fibre Diet: Not getting enough fibre in your diet can result in hard, dry poo that’s difficult to pass.

  • Inadequate Fluid Intake: Dehydration can lead to reduced water content in your stool

  • Sedentary Lifestyle: Lack of physical activity can slow down bowel movements and contribute to constipation

  • Certain Medications: Some medications, such as certain pain relievers or iron supplements, can cause constipation as a side effect

  • Changes in Routine or Environment: Travel or disruptions to your daily routine can impact your digestive system and lead to constipation

  • Ignoring the Urge to Poo: Ignoring the body’s natural signals to have a bowel movement can contribute to constipation over time

Potential Complications of Constipation

Constipation can sometimes lead to certain complications that require attention. Let’s look at some potential issues that may arise:

  • Haemorrhoids: Straining during bowel movements due to constipation can cause swollen and painful blood vessels around the rectum and anus, known as haemorrhoids


  • Fecal Impaction: Severe constipation may result in a condition where stool becomes hard and impacted in the rectum, making it difficult to pass


  • Anal Fissures: Hard stools can cause tiny tears in the skin around the anus, known as anal fissures, which can be painful and lead to bleeding

When to Seek Medical Attention

While constipation is common and often resolves on its own, there are instances when it’s essential to seek medical attention. Here are some signs that indicate the need for prompt medical evaluation by your doctor:

  • Persistent or Severe Constipation: If constipation lasts for an extended period or becomes severe, causing discomfort and hindering daily activities, medical advice is warranted

  • Blood in Stool: The presence of blood in the stool, whether bright red or tarry black, should never be ignored and requires immediate medical assessment

  • Unexplained Weight Loss: If constipation is accompanied by unexplained weight loss, it could signal an underlying health issue that needs medical attention

Order Your Medication Online with Healthera

If you’ve been prescribed a medication like Laxido to help lessen your symptoms, you can place your prescription order online using the Healthera mobile app. 

It only takes a couple of minutes to set up your order for collection or home delivery from your local pharmacy. 

To get started, simply click the button below:

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