Contrary to expectations, constipation is a symptom and not a disease. The definition of constipation includes having a bowel movement of less than three times per week and stools characterised as hard, dry, small in size, and difficult to eliminate1. A diet poor in fibre and water is considered a typical cause of constipation and diet changes mostly help to relieve and prevent the symptoms of constipation1.
Research in constipation highlights an intimate connection between the immune system, the gut luminal environment, the enteric and central nervous system in controlling gut motility. Therefore, the modulation of this complex system has also been proposed as a potential approach for the handling of constipation. This warrants further research focused on the effect of diet and probiotics as potential agents to modulate the mechanisms involved2.
1. Hsieh. (2005) Am Fam Physician 72(11), 2277-84.
2. Dimidi et al. (2017) Adv Nutr. 8(3):484-494.