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Constipation is caused by excess water absorption in the colon (also known as the large intestine). As food moves through the colon, water is absorbed and stool is formed. If food moves too slowly through the colon, too much water will be absorbed, resulting in hard, dry stool. Constipation can be caused by a number of different factors including:
Constipation and Diet
Constipation may be caused by dietary factors including:
- Not enough fiber in diet
- Not enough liquid in diet
Lifestyle Habits and Constipation
Certain habits or changes in your life may cause constipation:
- Old age
- Lack of exercise
Medical Factors Causing Constipation
Medications and other conditions may cause constipation:
- Use of certain medications (pain killers, iron pills, narcotics, antidepressants)
- Abuse of laxatives
- Irritable bowel disease
- Ignoring the urge to have a bowel movement
- Parkinson's Disease
- Multiple sclerosis