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Constipation means that a person has three or fewer bowel movements in a week. The stool can be hard and dry. Sometimes it is painful to pass. At one time or another, almost everyone gets constipated. In most cases, it lasts a short time and is not serious.

There are many things you can do to prevent constipation.

They include:

  • Eating more fruits, vegetables and grains, which are high in fiber

  • Drinking plenty of water and other liquids

  • Getting enough exercise

  • Taking time to have a bowel movement when you need to

  • Using laxatives only if your doctor says you should

  • Asking your doctor if medicines you take may cause constipation

  • It’s not important that you have a bowel movement every day. If your bowel habits change, however, check with your doctor.

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