By Paul Schneider Jr
How do you know if you are constipated? When stools are dry and hard, making bowel movements difficult, that is constipation.
Stool should always be soft and easy to pass. One result for dry stools is that bowel movements become less frequent. Let me explain.
One of the earmarks of constipation is that a person has fewer than 3 bowel movements a week.
If a person has a daily bowel movement, or even up to three formed stools a day, this is a sign of healthy bowel activity.
Almost everyone has a bout with constipation at some point in their lives. It may be acute or chronic.
This is the more painful and dangerous form of constipation, one that may go on for years.
Anywhere from 15 to 25 percent of Americans have a problem with constipation. Certain circumstances increase the likelihood of constipation, including:
Stool should be at least 75 percent water. This makes stool soft, slippery and easy to pass.
If it takes more than a minute or two to have a bowel movement, then most likely the stool is too dry.
Dry stool may be the result of being dehydrated, where the person needs to drink more water and less diuretics like coffee, tea and other caffeinated beverages.
Another common cause of dry stool is that stool stays too long in the colon. Since one of the colon's jobs is to extract water to turn a mush into formed stool, when stool stays in the colon for too long too much water is extracted.
The symptoms of constipation are fairly easy to recognize. Here are some of the factors that help us identify constipation:
Yes, there are medications one can take to temporarily deal with constipation, but are there any good long-term solutions?
When you consider that 80% of Americans don't get enough magnesium in their diet, taking a magnesium supplement may be the most beneficial solution for relieving constipation.
When defining constipation we look at the frequency and consistency of one's bowel movements. A person is constipated if:
If a person is suffering from the symptoms of constipation, whether acute or chronic, supplemental magnesium may bring relief from the cramping and bloating associated with constipation on a long term basis.