Causes of Constipation

Constipation is a very common digestive condition. It can cause symptoms such as straining to pass a stool, passing a hard stool and the sensation that your bowel hasn’t fully emptied after going to the toilet.

What causes constipation?

Multiple factors may cause constipation; these can range from structural issues with the bowel, stress, medication use and diet.^

Lifestyle causes of constipation

Several lifestyle factors can have a negative influence on your digestion. These include:

  • Not enough fluids— Not drinking enough fluids or drinking the wrong types of fluids can dehydrate your body and lead to a harder, drier stool, which can be painful and difficult to pass. Avoid excess alcohol or caffeine as they can contribute to dehydration.
  • Inactivity — When your body is sluggish, so is your bowel. This can lead to the stool spending a longer time in your gut, where it becomes drier and more compact.
  • Ignoring the urge — Not going to the toilet when the urge strikes means the stool spends a longer time in the gut, where it becomes more compact and harder to pass.
  • Low-fibre diet— Eating a diet high in processed foods usually means you’re eating a diet low in fibre. Fibre is important to help add bulk to the stool and help the stool’s transit through the bowel.

How to Relieve Constipation

Start to relieve constipation with diet and lifestyle changes such as regularly eating fibre-rich foods and fitting more exercise into your routine. It’s recommended to always check with your doctor or dietitian before increasing fibre intake.

If constipation affects you or any family member, the Dulco range of products could be helpful. The Dulco range includes Dulcolax Tablets and Dulcolax SP Drops that provide clinically proven1-3 relief from constipation. Dulcolax are effective in 20-45 minutes for predictable relief from constipation.

Always read the label and follow the directions for use.



1. Kamm et al. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2011; 9(7):577-583. Sponsored by Boehringer-Ingelheim.

2. Kienzle-Horn, S. et al. Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics. 2006; 23 (10): 1479-1488. Sponsored by Boehringer-Ingelheim.

3. Mueller-Lissner et al. Am J Gastroenterol. 2010;105(4):897-903. Sponsored by Boehringer-Ingelheim.

4. Wiriyakosol, S et al. Asian Journal of Surgery. 2007; 30 (3): 167-172. 5. Mandel, L and Silinsky, J. Canadian Medical Association Journal. 1960; 83 (8): 384-387. 6. Phillips, R.W. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. 1965; 13 (1): 78-79. 7. Pincock, J.G. Canadian Medical Association Journal. 1960; 82: 268-269. 8. Lvine, J. and Rinzlner, S.H. The American Journal of Cardiology. 1960; 108-110.

^ Diaz S, Bittar K, Mendez MD. Constipation. [Updated 2020 Oct 1]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan

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