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Constipation is a common condition that affects people of all ages. It can mean that you're not passing stools regularly or you're unable to completely empty your bowel.

Constipation can also cause your stools to be hard and lumpy, as well as unusually large or small.

The symptoms are:

  • few bowel movements

  • trouble having a bowel movement (straining)

  • hard or small stools

  • a sense that everything didn’t come out

  • swollen abdomen or abdominal pain

  • vomiting

Common causes of constipation are:

  • not eating enough fiber, such as fruit, vegetables and cereals

  • a change in your routine or lifestyle, such as a change in your eating habits

  • ignoring the urge to pass stools

  • side effects of certain medications

  • not drinking enough fluids

  • anxiety or depression

Diet and lifestyle changes are usually recommended as the first treatment for constipation.

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