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Constipation means that a person has three or fewer bowel movements in a week. The stool can be hard and dry. Sometimes it is painful to pass. At one time or another, almost
everyone gets constipated. In most cases, it lasts a short time and is not serious.
There are many things you can do to prevent constipation. They include
- Eating more fruits, vegetables and grains, which are high in fiber
- Drinking plenty of water and other liquids
- Getting enough exercise
- Taking time to have a bowel movement when you need to
- Using laxatives only if your doctor says you should
- Asking your doctor if medicines you take may cause constipation
It's not important that you have a bowel movement every day. If your bowel habits change, however, check with your doctor.
NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases