According to medical sciences, constipation usually is defined as fewer than three bowel movements in a week. Severe constipation is defined as less than one bowel movement in a week. There is no medical reason to have a bowel movement everyday. No bowel movement for two or three days will cause any physical discomfort, but the problem is the tension which we make out of that. It is wonderful if you have bowel movement everyday, but there is no evidence of accumulated toxins in infrequent bowel movements and this belief is also wrong that constipation leads to cancer.

Constipation can be caused by the slow passage of digesting food through any part of the intestine, the slowing occurs mostly in the colon. Poor eating habits are a widespread common cause for constipation.

It is important to distinguish acute and chronic constipation and acute constipation must be assessed immediately if severe symptoms like rectal bleeding, abdominal pain and cramps, nausea, vomiting and weight loss are present.

The side effects of drugs is also an important factor for constipation and they include narcotic painkillers, calcium channel blockers, iron supplements, aluminium containing antacids, antidepressants, antiepileptic and many more.

A good portion of salad with its fibre content will help to eliminate constipation. Fruits, vegetables and whole grain products have lot of fibre.

Do not avoid fat completely and this is also a common cause for constipation. You must also use healthy edible oils daily. It need not be too much, but very important.

Natural remedies include herbal laxatives such as cape aloe, senna or others. Probiotics which contain lactobacillus acidophilus are natural supplements which help restore the levels of good bacteria that may be killed off by antibiotic use. Probiotics food may be preferred than supplements.

Laxatives may help, but chronic misuse can bring more problems including severe constipation and damage of colon. Therefore, the use of laxatives must be the last choice.

The other causes of constipation include certain hormonal disorders, central nervous system diseases, diseases which affect the colon including colonic inertia and the dysfunction of the pelvic floor muscles.

Children should not take any laxative drugs.