Constipation 101

Constipation 101

Classic public restroom wall sign
illustration of a bathroom including a toilet, toilet paper, plunger, and calendar with a few days crossed out
illustration of a bathroom including a toilet, toilet paper, plunger, and calendar with a few days crossed out

WHAT QUALIFIES AS CONSTIPATION?

Constipation can mean that your stools are hard and dry or that you have difficulty passing a bowel movement. In medical terms, constipation is generally considered to be fewer than 3 bowel movements per week.
illustration of a man sleeping on a couch
illustration of a man sleeping on a couch

WHAT CAUSES CONSTIPATION?

There are many possible causes of constipation, and most are not serious. These can include lifestyle changes, such as diet or activity level, stress, some medications, pregnancy, or not consuming enough fiber and fluids.
illustration of a woman holding her stomach in discomfort
illustration of a woman holding her stomach in discomfort

WHAT ARE SYMPTOMS OF CONSTIPATION?

Symptoms can include few bowel movements per week, hard stools that are difficult or uncomfortable to pass, the need to strain during movement, and aches and cramping associated with bowel movements.
illustration of fresh fruits and vegetables, a glass of water, exercise hand weights, and cereal
illustration of fresh fruits and vegetables, a glass of water, exercise hand weights, and cereal

HOW CAN I PREVENT CONSTIPATION?

To help prevent occasional constipation, make sure to drink adequate fluids, eat a diet that is rich in fiber, including brand cereal, fresh vegetables and fruit, and maintain an active exercise routine.
illustration outlining the digestive system including the small intestine, large intestine, stomach, and colon
illustration outlining the digestive system including the small intestine, large intestine, stomach, and colon

WHAT ARE THE HEALTH RISKS OF CONSTIPATION?

Occasional constipation is normal for most people, but if your symptoms last for most than three months, your constipation is considered chronic and may be associated with other health conditions.
illustration of a bottle of MiraLAX
illustration of a bottle of MiraLAX

HOW CAN I FIND RELIEF FROM OCCASIONAL CONSTIPATION?

For relief, try an osmotic laxative like MiraLAX®. Unlike a stimulant laxative, osmotic laxatives work naturally with the water in your body to hydrate and hold water in the stool, making them softer and easier to pass.

Use as directed for occasional constipation