Causes of Constipation and How to Cure It

Healthy food laid out

What is Constipation?

Constipation is normal for people to experience from time to time. Constipation occurs when one is unable to make a bowel movement or experiences long periods of time between each bowel movement. Someone who also experiences trouble when trying to make a bowel movement or experiences hard, small stools may be described as constipated. Recognizing the signs and symptoms of constipation is important because it can ensure you determine what is causing it and take steps to cure it.

Causes of Constipation

Here are the five most common causes of constipation as well as how to cure your constipation. If you are feeling constipated, start by reading through these causes to determine if any one or a combination of the below causes may be to blame.


What you consume has the largest impact on your digestive system. Certain foods and drinks can have a negative impact on your body’s ability to properly digest. The biggest culprits are alcoholic beverages, dairy, red meat, processed grains, and fried foods. If you are feeling constipated after eating any of the above items, you may want to adjust your diet to get things moving again. Foods rich in fiber, fruits, and vegetables are all great for your digestion. Be sure to drink water regularly, especially when consuming foods and drinks that are likely to cause a bout of constipation.


Did you know that physical activity is essential for bowel movements? If you are suffering from constipation, lack of physical activity may be to blame. Going on a walk, dancing, or playing a sport can help your body to produce a bowel movement when you are experiencing constipation. When you move, you will help get the muscles and intestines in your body more active right along with you.

If you are unable to move due to a medical condition or prescribed bed rest then it will be important to work with a doctor to come up with a solution for the symptoms of constipation you are experiencing.


The nervous system and digestion system communicate with one another, meaning stress can directly impact your body’s ability to healthily digest. If you are going through a period of stress, anxiety, or depression and are also experiencing constipation — it is important to recognize that. Combatting stress-induced constipation will involve figuring out ways to reduce your stress to get your body back to normal.

Medical Conditions and Medications

Some medical conditions and medical events such as eating disorders, pregnancy, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) or underactive thyroid can cause constipation. If you suffer from a known medical condition that is also creating digestive issues, it is extremely important to discuss these symptoms with a professional.

You may also want to take a look at the medications you consume, as medications are a huge contributor to constipation. Opioid pain relievers are notorious for causing constipation. Overuse of certain types of laxative medication can also actually cause constipation — the opposite of its intended purposes!

More Serious Medical Concerns

Constipation isn’t always easy to fix or nail down a cause. In some cases, your chronic constipation may signal that there is something more serious going on. For example, you may be experiencing a blockage in the rectum or colon. If constipation is associated with blood, weight loss, abdominal pain, nausea or vomiting or if doesn’t get better with laxatives or anyone 50 or older with new onset constipation who is not up to date with the colon cancer screening should see their doctor as soon as possible.

Suffering from Constipation?

Constipation is never fun. If constipation is becoming a regular occurrence or is causing you discomfort, make an appointment with the specialists at Digestive Healthcare Center. Our gastroenterology doctors and nurses will diagnose the cause behind your constipation and come up with a treatment plan to get you feeling your best.

Make an Appointment for Comprehensive Digestive Care in NJ

At Digestive Healthcare Center, we want each patient at our three offices in New Jersey to feel confident about their digestive health. We encourage you to contact us today to make an appointment with one of our expert gastroenterologists – don’t wait to start putting your digestive health first!

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