Constipation: Types, Symptoms & Treatment

The medical practitioners are quite cautious about the conditions related to constipation. It shall not be considered in a casual manner as it can be an alarming sign for many deadly complications. In this article, we will discuss the different aspects of constipation which include the types of constipation, symptoms, possible reasons, the line of treatment and precautions while taking medicines.

This will not only help us in getting information about the complications but also make us careful about any sort of health issues that we may already have in our bodies.

Constipation – Definition and categories

The most common definition of constipation is considered as the state of reduced or disturbed bowel movement that results in obstructed or difficulty in passing stools. This is generally a condition that everyone may face in life in some or the other way. Bowel habits and routines are different for different individuals. The tendency to constipate depends on various factors that we will discuss hereinafter.

Types of Constipation

It is mainly divided into two types; one is simple and the second is chronic constipation. Simple constipation may develop in anyone because of several reasons, including irregular food habits or due to side effects of any medicine. In chronic constipation, the patients suffer from the conditions pertaining to constipation for a continued period of time which may result in certain other complications.


The symptoms of constipation are quite similar in both the types which is indicated by the below conditions:

  • Fewer bowel movements
  • Difficulty in having a bowel movement (have to put pressure for passing the stools)
  • Less and Hard stools
  • Sensation to pass stools again and again
  • Pain in the belly or swelling in the colon region

When is the right time to call or visit a doctor?

It is advised to call or visit your doctor immediately when you feel constipation with pain in your paunch and you find it difficult to pass gas or stool.

Reasons for Constipation

There are several reasons for constipation that largely depends on the below areas that relate to various factors like medication, as the symptom of complications, or irregular dietary habits.

  • Due to medication: There are certain medicines that are known to develop constipation. The antacid medicines that contain aluminum or calcium are a major cause for the same. Sometimes less intake of water and consumption of antidepressants and iron pills result in constipation.
  • Due to changes in dietary habits or lifestyle: Many times the change in sleeping pattern and heavy diet may result in constipation. A lot of calcium-rich products like dairy foods may result in constipation. Pregnant women also have to face constipation.
  • Diseases: There are diseases that reflect constipation as one of the symptoms like colon cancer, colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, neurological conditions like Parkinson’s & multiple sclerosis. The disorders in the digestive system, as well as hypothyroidism, may also cause constipation.


In simple constipation related complications the things may be worked out by simple measures like bringing changes in routine. Maximizing the intake of water can simply help in resolving the complications along with the addition of roughage and dietary fiber to support bowel movements.

In chronic conditions, the treatments include the use of suppositories and laxatives for relieving from constipation.

Suppositories: These are administered in the rectal region for relieving constipation. These contain glycerin-based medicines that increase the water content in the intestine resulting in bowel movements. These are effective in relieving constipation within 15 to 60 minutes. Patients with piles and fissures shall be avoided to take this support.

Laxatives: These are usually known as stool softeners and consist of different medicines that fall into categories like fiber or lubricant based and stimulant-based laxatives. These three act in different ways to release constipation by relieving stools.

Precautions for taking Laxatives: The laxatives shall not be taken too often as it tends to form a habit for regularizing the bowel movements. Prolonged intake may reduce the natural tendency of bowel movements that cannot be restored to normal conditions easily making constipation as a chronic issue for you.