Constipation is one of the most common gastrointestinal problem. The normal frequency of bowel movements can vary from person to person, from three times a day to three times a week, and most people have a regular habit. Passing hard stools less than 3 times a week is probably a constipated person. Other symptoms include bloating, nausea
, cramping in a lower abdomen, headache
, mouth ulcer
and bad breath
. Eating a diet that is low in fiber, not drinking enough fluids, having a sedentary lifestyle, emotional stress
or repeatedly ignoring the urge to go to the bathroom can contribute to constipation. Although constipation can affect anyone, it's more common in women and in people over age 65. It also tends to occur during pregnancy, after childbirth or surgery. Some medicines, such as certain painkillers and iron supplements, may cause or aggravate the problem. Occasionally, constipation is caused by an underlying illness. Most cases of constipation are temporary and by simply changing lifestyle, such as getting more exercise, drinking more fluids and eating a high-fiber diet, can go a long way toward alleviating constipation.