ZocdocAnswersCan not drinking enough water cause constipation?

Question

Can not drinking enough water cause constipation?

Can you get constipation from not drinking enough water? Sometimes I think that I just don't drink enough water. I get enough liquids I think, but I still am getting constipated every so often...

Answer

Constipation has a number of complex inter related causes, including genetics, stress, physical activity, diet, and in some particular cases an underlying medical condition. As part of this complex of factors which influence whether or not a person becomes constipated periodically, you are definitely right that water intake can contribute. Not drinking enough water means that the fecal material becomes excessively dry and hard while still in the intestines, which makes it difficult to have a bowel movement. In addition to increasing your water intake, eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables (and other sources of fiber) can help relieve this problem. However, if the constipation is becoming more severe or persistent, you should see your primary care doctor for a full evaluation. I say this because, in the cases of persistent constipation, the chance that this is an underlying medical problem becomes more likely. Examples of medical problems that are commonly associated with constipation include hypothyroidism and celiac disease.Your doctor can perform a full evaluation, including if necessary blood work looking for these and other medical problems. They can also give you some advice on some additional medications that you might want to consider taking to help relieve the constipation.

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