Being constipated means having difficult bowel movements that are either less frequent or difficult to pass. While people vary in the amount of time between normal bowel movements, feces become hardened and difficult to pass usually after three days.

In addition to hardened or less frequent bowel movements, you may also experience abdominal pain when constipated. Drinking extra glasses of water each day and adding fruits and vegetables to your diet can relieve the constipation. Regularly drinking fluids and eating a well-balanced diet that contains plenty of fiber will help prevent constipation.

While constipation is a common condition that affects most people at some point, it can be a symptom of more serious gastrointestinal concerns. People should consult a physician when symptoms last longer than two weeks or are accompanied by sever pain, bloody stool or weight loss.