Constipation describes infrequent or hard to pass bowel movements. This generally occurs when stool moves through the colon too slowly and the fluid portion is reabsorbed by your body making the stool hard and dry.
Occasional constipation is normal and can be caused by low fiber diet, stress, lack of sleep, lack of exercise, age and some medications. Increasing fiber in your diet, drinking at least 6-8 glasses of water per day and limiting processed foods can help alleviate constipation and prevent further symptoms. Additionally, adequate sleep and regular exercise can also treat and prevent constipation.
If symptoms persist more than a week or you experience sudden change in stool habits, severe abdominal pain, bleeding, weight loss and fatigue, contact your healthcare provider right away for evaluation.