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Constipation can be painful and distressing affecting all age groups.

In young children it can be associated with psychological problems associated with the learning process of toilet training or some stress related problems found in both the school and the home environment.

There is a strong link between stress and bowel dysfunction, seen often as constipation and or diarrhea. However one of the commonest causes is simply poor diet and insufficient fluid intake.

In order to have good, normal bowel function, it is necessary to stimulate the walls and linings of the colon. This can be achieved by having bulk in the gut and this can only happen if the diet consists of plenty of fibre.

It is a normal process in the large intestine for water to be reabsorbed, creating a more solid stool. If however the body is deficient in fluid, more water will be reabsorbed creating harder pellet type stools, which will be uncomfortable to pass.

Constipation can irritate the delicate membranes and linings of the gut and give rise to illness and disease. Because waste substances are not eliminated regularly, there can be a build up in the system of toxic elements, which can give rise to headaches and bad breath.

The gut movement should be steady and regular therefore meals should be taken regularly. Persistent straining in constipation can cause hemorrhoids and or prolapses.

Attention to a well balanced diet and fluid intake should be firstly adopted, a mild laxative could be tried short term, but if the problem persists consult your GP for advice as to whether you need further investigation.

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