Constipation Foods

Overview

Constipation is a common gastrointestinal problem characterized by infrequent or difficult bowel movements. Some foods contribute to constipation, while others relieve it. A low-fiber diet is a common cause of constipation. Most cases of constipation don’t last long and can be treated by exercising, drinking plenty of fluids, and eating high-fiber foods.

Symptoms and Diagnosis

The symptoms of constipation include passing fewer than three stools a week, passing hard stools, straining during a bowel movement, and feeling like a bowel movement was not complete.

Causes

Constipation is caused when stool moves too slowly through the digestive tract and becomes hard and dry. This is often the result of a diet that is low in fiber or fluids.  The body cannot digest fiber, so when it is eaten it helps clean out the digestive tract by provoking bowel movements. Foods that are low in fiber and high in fat, sugar, or starch can have the opposite effect and slow down bowel movements. Low-fiber foods that cause constipation include cheese, ice cream, and meat. Refined and processed foods are also low-fiber, including white bread, pasta, rice, refined cereals, processed snack foods such as chips, and most fast foods. Continue reading for Prevention and Treatment Information . . .

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