(HealthDay News) -- Constipation is characterized by producing fewer bowel movements than you typically do, or by producing bowel movements that are difficult or painful to pass.

The U.S. National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse says risk factors for constipation include:

  • A change in your normal patterns of travel, exercise or diet.
  • Not going to the bathroom when you feel the need.
  • Being under significant stress.
  • Not getting enough fiber in your diet, or not drinking enough fluids.
  • Taking some medications, such as diuretics, antacids, pain relievers or antidepressants.
  • Taking certain dietary supplements, such as calcium or iron.