//10 Causes of Constipation & Solutions

About Constipation

If you have constipation, you are not alone. 4 million people in the United States have frequent constipation. Constipation causes slower than normal movement of food waste through the digestive tract. It is clinically defined as difficulty in emptying the bowels. This is typically accompanied with hardened feces. If you produce less than 3 bowel movements a week, or have hard, dry, and small bowel movements that painful or difficult to pass, you are suffering from constipation. Ultimately, several things are happening in the GI tract when constipation occurs:

  • A slowed movement of passing stool waste through the colon
  • Not enough stool is being formed
  • A delay in emptying the colon from the pelvis

Besides the obvious inability to have a bowel movement, constipation also causes other symptoms such as:

  • bloating
  • gas
  • low back pain
  • anxiety and fatigue

Ten causes of constipation include:

  1. Inadequate liquid intake
  2. Changes to diet, not eating enough vegetable intake, fiber, or eating a lot of dairy products
  3. Magnesium deficiency
  4. Imbalance of bacteria in the gut, or indigestion because of low HCL and bile production
  5. Resisting the urge to have a bowel movement
  6. Stress such as bad relationships, friendship, financial, physical, etc.
  7. Overuse of laxatives or other medications such as antacids, antidepressants, and pain medications can cause constipation
  8. Low bile production
  9. Low HCL in stomach
  10. Emotions- constantly fretting, unwilling to release old feelings & beliefs, resisting the flow f life, feelings of anxiety, unresolved problems

Additional causes for constipation include the decrease function of a thyroid gland directly reducing metabolism and slowing down the bowels. Changes in activity levels can also cause constipation, whether you have suddenly become very active with exercise or inactive. Your age will also be a factor. The older you become the more likely you are to become constipated.

The good news is that there are many natural relief remedies for constipation, and the condition is often preventable. Always look to see what is the root cause of the constipation and work on that.


  • Constipation accounts for more than 2.5 million doctor visits each year
  • 20% of Americans report having suffered from persistent constipation
  • About 900 persons die annually from diseases associated with or related to constipation.
  • Constipation was three times more common in women than men
  • Old age increases the risk of constipation

Foods to Avoid

Diets that are high in processed foods, sugar, refined carbohydrates, unhealthy fats, synthetic additives, or alcohol contribute to constipation. Stay away from gluten, dairy, eggs, and peanuts. Also, foods that have a high number of calories but offer very little fiber should be avoided. These include dairy products like cheese, ice cream, refined flour, chips, and processed meats. Fried foods contain trans-fats that slow down the intestines. Also avoid caffeinated or alcoholic beverages since they are both diuretics so can cause dehydration.

Foods that Help

The best thing to do for alleviating constipation is to eat well with a diet filled with plenty of fiber. Eat a high fiber diet with foods such as raw fruits and vegetables, nuts, beans, seeds, and ancient grains. Beans, legumes, sweet potatoes, apples, berries, prunes, avocado, or pears are excellent sources of fiber. Green leafy vegetables provide fiber and are a wonderful source of magnesium.

Drink water half of your body weight in ounces, and support your thyroid. Focus on an anti-inflammatory diet. Prunes help temporarily but do not address the root cause. A coffee enema can stimulate the liver and bile.

Drink Buckthorn, or olive oil on an empty stomach. Also, drinking warm liquids, drinking Aloe Vera, and taking probiotics bring relief.

Emotional Component

Emotions play a huge role in our health. Not only can emotional stress cause tense muscles, it may also lead to upsetting the gut and intestinal balance. This can cause constipation and discomfort.  Per Karol K. Truman constantly fretting, resisting the flow of life, feelings of anxiety, unresolvable problems can cause constipation.  How about bottled up hate?  That certainly can affect the colon.

Herbs and Vitamins that Help

Using laxatives may get the body used to them, so it is better to focus on diet and supplements to get off of the laxatives. Take probiotic supplements with prebiotic fiber from plant-based foods. Some supplements that help to relieve constipation include sprouted chia seeds, flaxseed oil, psyllium husk, cod liver oil, apple or pear fiber, magnesium, and probiotics.

Essential Oils that May Help

Essential oils can be beneficial in finding relief from constipation. Oils such as ginger, fennel peppermint, rosemary, or lemon have been shown to offer help. You may also want to diffuse lavender oil to help with anxiety and stress that compounds the problems making you suffer from constipation.

Ginger is often used to improve digestion issues. While it is most known for relieving nausea, it also helps with constipation. Fennel oil acts as a laxative. Peppermint oil offers an antispasmodic component that relaxes muscles in the digestive tract. Rosemary oil has a spasmolytic effect that relaxes muscles and suppresses spasms. Lemon oil offers powerful antioxidants that improve digestion and reduces inflammation.

Most oils can be mixed with a carrier oil and then rubbed and massaged on the abdomen. You can also diffuse them.

Stress Effect

When stress is high, it changes hormone and neurotransmitter production that affect muscle tension, inflammation, production of enzymes, and digestive functions. Day-to-day stress, sudden unexpected stressful events, or changing your daily schedule while traveling can have a huge impact on constipation. Unusual amounts of emotional stress may lead to chronic constipation. The stress hormone Cortisol causes blood sugar levels to rise which changes digestion.

Exercise is a good idea to help fight constipation. Not only does it help get the bowels moving in a healthy, regular manner, but it also will combat stress.

Hormones that Affect or are Affected

Constipation affects hormonal imbalance, since estrogens that need to move out of the body recirculate and cause hormonal imbalance. These estrogens need to move out of the body, but instead they recirculate and cause estrogen dominance.




Epidemiology of constipation in the United States – PubMed (nih.gov)