What Causes Constipation? - Possible Reasons

Here, you will learn about what causes constipation.

Bloating, distension, abdominal pain - these are all symptoms that most people have experienced at one time or another. Yet, not many people know what it is that causes constipation; this makes it very difficult for one to take steps to avoid it.

Constipation commonly manifests as stool that is hard, difficult and painful to pass. It is generally accompanied by an infrequent urge to void, and possible straining to pass stool. Straining should be avoided as it may cause complications. Other identifiers of constipation include:

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A note about What Causes Constipation? - Possible Reasons

In natural health and healing, we believe in holistic health and healing, as we realize that different parts of the human body are highly interlinked, often beyond Man's understanding. We also believe that the body has the ability to heal itself of any disease, even supposedly incurable diseases.

In order to do so, the body needs the support of some basic dietary and lifestyle good health habits, such as a full body detox and a proper understanding and application of nutrition. No matter how remote or unrelated a health condition may seem, these fundamental health steps will greatly magnify the effects and benefits of any of our health-promoting efforts, including the use of specific natural health remedies.

  • Distended abdomen
  • Diffuse tenderness in abdomen
  • Cramping
  • Audible bowel sounds (hyperactive bowel sounds)
  • Infrequent bowel movements
  • Generally three or fewer times per week
  • Difficulty during defecation
  • Straining during more than 25% of bowel movements or a subjective sensation of hard stool
  • The sensation of incomplete bowel evacuation

It is important for those who deal with constipation to take note of symptoms such as vomiting, a very tender abdomen, or diarrhea, as these may indicate fecal impaction - a type of bowel obstruction that requires medical attention.

What Causes Constipation

Because constipation can occur at any time, and can be either acute or chronic, there is no "one size fits all" factor for what causes constipation. Generally speaking, though, the physical reason for constipation is over absorption of water by the colon.

This H2O of course comes from the stool substance, thus leaving it dry and hard; often, the colon over-absorbs water due to the food moving through the digestive tract too slowly. That is, it absorbs the amount it normally would, however, because the food remains too long, it becomes increasingly devoid of water, causing the resultant stool to develop the qualities that make it difficult to pass. This is a technical factor for what causes constipation.

Some common reasons for this slowed intestinal transit include:

  • Hypothyroidism (condition marked by an underactive thyroid gland)
  • Hypokalemia (low potassium concentration in the body)
  • Injured anal sphincter
  • Certain medications, namely loperamide, opioids (such as codeine and morphine) and some antidepressants
  • Severe illness
  • Acute porphyria (inherited condition that is very rare)
  • Lead poisoning
  • Lactose intolerance
  • Dyschezia (often results from suppressing defecation)

Constipation can also occur due to a simple hardening of the feces, which may occur due to:

  • Insufficient dietary fiber intake
  • Dehydration
  • Medications, especially diuretics, or medications containing iron, calcium, or aluminum

Other potential reasons for what causes constipation are diverticula, obstructed defecation, severe dehydration, certain types of surgery, childbirth, smoking cessation, and that which is psychosomatic. For the majority of people who experience constipation, it is an isolated and relatively minor issue. However, if the constipation becomes severe, prolonged, or chronic, it may signal that something is wrong.


In general, the best way to avoid or treat constipation is by ensuring proper hydration (preferably by increased intake of water) and to make sure there is adequate dietary fiber in the diet. Fiber is an integral nutrient when it comes to mobility in the digestive tract. Indeed, by preventing the possible factors for what causes constipation, the condition can be kept away.

Although the causes of constipation vary greatly between individuals, the bothersome symptoms do not, and it is fortunate that this problem can be addressed fairly easily so that the discomfort subsides.

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