As fecal matter sits in the colon, the harder the stool becomes making it more difficult to pass. This is known as constipation.
Depending on your age, diet, daily activity bowel movement can vary. A normal stool should not be either unusually hard or soft, and you should not have to use excessive force to pass it.
There are a number of causes for constipation in adults. The most common include:
- Not eating enough fibre
- Not drinking enough fluids
- Not being active enough
- Ignoring the urge to go to the toilet
- Medicinal side effects
- Stress, anxiety or depression
It is likely to be constipation if:
- You have not had a poo at least 3 times in a week
- The poo is difficult to push out and larger than usual
- The poo is often dry, hard or lumpy
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