Many people experience occasional constipation for a variety of reasons – going on vacation and changing what you eat for a few days, being really stressed about a change in life circumstances, or not eating enough fiber daily. However, constipation can become a health risk if it becomes chronic. Complications of chronic constipation can include things like swollen veins in the anus (known as “hemorrhoids), torn skin in the anus (known as an “anal fissure”), among other things.
There are many things you can incorporate into daily life to try and avoid a bout of constipation, though there are some chronic diseases that put a person more at risk for chronic constipation than people without the disease – diabetes, pregnancy, and over/underactive thyroid can all cause constipation more often than normal. For those without those risks, preventing constipation can be as simple as eating more fruits, vegetables, beans, and legumes, getting regular exercise, drinking lots of fluids, managing stress effectively, and trying to get your body on a “schedule” for bowel movements.