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Constipation is a common digestive problem affecting a large section of the population. It involves dry, hard stool that is difficult to pass and irregular bowel movements (less than thrice a week). In some cases, bloating, abdominal pain, nausea, appetite loss, and the feeling of incomplete evacuation may also be experienced as additional symptoms. As food passes through the digestive system, the colon absorbs water and turns it into stool. Usually, constipation occurs when the colon sucks in excess water from the food, leaving the feces hard, dry and difficult to pass. Therefore, the digestion and movement of food through the digestive tract should not slow down. The longer food stays in the colon, the greater the chances of excess water absorption. Poor physical activity, aging and certain medicines are other causes of constipation. Hemorrhoids, fecal impaction and anal fissure are some of the complications that may arise from constipation. Normally, constipation is treated by a general practitioner but in advanced cases, patients must visit a gastroenterologist.Read more
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