About three million people in the United States have frequent constipation. The condition is characterized by small amounts of hard, dry bowel movements, usually fewer than three times a week. While poor diet and a lack of exercise are the most common causes, the problem can also be caused by certain medications, irritable bowel syndrome, or abuse of laxatives. In most cases, constipation is temporary and not serious.
There are a number of steps you can take to help relieve symptoms and prevent a recurrence of the problem. These steps include:
- Exercising regularly
- Drinking plenty of fluids
- Eating a high-fiber diet.
(Click Constipation for more details about this topic. This article offers more in-depth information on symptoms, causes, prevention methods, and more.)