Occasional constipation happens to most people, but chronic constipation can be a serious problem. Constipation is difficulty in passing stool, usually from hardening of the stool. 

Constipation, not related to underlying conditions, can be caused by not enough fiber or water in the diet and lack of exercise. How much water and fiber should you be getting every day? The recommended daily intake of fiber is 30 grams and the recommended intake of water per day is 64 ounces at minimum. If adding fiber and water does not elevate the problem, over the counter products can be used as a temporary fix. If you are experiencing recurring bouts of constipation, it is not advisable to become dependent on laxatives.

How do you define chronic constipation? Everyone’s “normal” is a little different. In general, constipation is considered chronic if over a 3 month period you experience at least two of the following, having fewer than 3 bowel movements in a week, having dry and lumpy stools, feel the need to strain in order to “go,” or feel as though there is something preventing you from emptying your rectum.

Any sudden change in bowel habits that become consistent should be reported to your doctor. That means if you are normally fairly regular and are experiencing constipation that is not alleviated by healthy changes, make an appointment with Dr. Islam to discuss the problem. Get the help you need to be comfortable again.