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Constipation may be associated with a decreased intake of the amount of fiber and/or liquids. You could think of. It basically what goes in has to come out. And so there are at least two things operative here. A decreased amount of fluid intake will result in a more condensed hard stool, which is actually harder to pass. If a patient has a slow motility or slow bowel movements that, let's say the colon contracts and relaxes at a slower pace, that will definitely manifest itself as constipation. As far as decreased fiber, well, fiber attracts water into the gut. Less fiber in your diet, less water attracted to your gut. That's right. Your stool become concentrated and you will become constipated. Now, are there hormonal differences or causes of constipation? Yes, we talked about in a previous episode, the effect of the thyroid gland. And the thyroid gland is like a thermostat. And so if your thyroid functions at a lower level, your intestinal movements will move more slowly and that will result in constipation. Also, we've noticed that in females when they're pregnant, due to the interactions of hormones, that they may become constipated as well. And so, yes, hormones, medications, diet, liquid, all impact constipation.

Doctor Profile

Eugene Trowers, MD, MPH, FACP


  • Board Certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine in General Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology
  • Graduated from the New York University School of Medicine in 1976 and has been in practice for over 42 years 
  • Listed in Best Doctors in America, and The Best Doctors in America: Central Region

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