The causes of constipation are based upon many variables, through which either one or a combination of many symptoms at once can lead to constipation causes. Along with this general lack of one or two concrete causes for constipation are differences between types of constipation, each with their own set of possible sources. Through this complex array of possible diagnoses, constipation is not often as easy a fix as commercials will lead one to believe. Some companies will put forth theories based on fiber to “become regular”, or meaning to have the average number of bowel movements per week (which in turn can be argued from anywhere between once every few days to twice daily), the solution for each case of constipation lies completely in the constipation causes, and not in a cure-all remedy meant to satisfy any variant of constipation.
By definition from the National Institutes of Diabetes, Digestive, and Kidney Diseases, constipation is having a bowel movement fewer than 3 times a week. This can either include an on-going experience, which is then considered chronic, or re-occurring. It can also happen once, or on a varied basis; both of these circumstances are considered constipation, and one of the most common causes of constipation is based on diet.
Fiber allows less water to be collected from food passing within the walls of the colon, and its texture also helps move stool along within the intestines. A lack of fiber will result in more water being retained and the muscles of the colon to become sluggish with the added weigh, resulting in slow passing or a complete stoppage of activity. A lack of fiber leads the list of constipation causes, with other dietary problems following. For example, a diet that does not consist of many liquids will have the same effect as a lack of fiber; dry, slow-moving stool in the colon and hampered muscles, ultimately a constipation cause. Liquids add bulk to stool and keep it malleable, so that it can pass through the body with relative ease. An increase in fiber and liquids can help loosen stool and activate the muscles in the colon to get it moving, and can also help dislodge constipated stool that has been stuck within the intestines.
A lack of physical energy can also lead to constipation, especially in the elderly. There are also medications that have constipation as a side-effect, due to the medicines abnormal consumption of water in the body. Pregnancy is often accompanied by constipation, as well. Finally, there are a number of diseases or disorders that can cause constipation, ranging from neurological disorders to irritable bowel syndrome. This disorders can sometimes be only part of the causes of constipation, and are not always the primary constipation causes.