Constipation is defined as small, hard, difficult, or infrequent stools. Constipation may be caused by:
- Inadequate “roughage” or fiber in the diet
- Not enough oral fluid
- poor habits, especially delaying using the toilet
- Movement problems in the large bowel, including slow or uncoordinated movement
A person who is constipated may strain during a bowel movement or just pass very hard stool.
Passage of hard stool may contribute to the development of anal problems such as fissures (painful cracks in the anal tissue lining) or hemorrhoids.