Tackling constipation head-on: 10 surprising symptoms

I am constantly surprised in my clinic how many clients come to me for another reason, only to find out that they suffer from constipation and have often done so for years.


So, are you constipated?  This is the most important key to treating constipation: Recognising that you’re constipated in the first place and this is something I help my clients work out on a regular basis.

Many people do not even realise that they are constipated at all or have been told that having two to three bowel movements a week is normal – it most certainly is not.

If you have any of the below symptoms, then this could mean that you suffer from constipation. Did you know that even feeling tired all the time, could be a result of constipation? Especially if other factors like hypothyroidism have been ruled out. 

  • not pooping (obviously!)
  • abdominal pain
  • diarrhoea
  • bloating
  • heartburn or acid reflux
  • brain fog
  • gas and flatulence
  • fatigue
  • loss of appetite or nausea/queasiness
  • food sensitivities

Causes and risk factors

Constipation can have various causes, including a lack of dietary fibre, inadequate fluid intake, a sedentary lifestyle, stress, certain medications, hormonal changes, and even some medical conditions – such as diabetes and hypothyroidism.

Understanding these factors helps me to pinpoint the root causes of your constipation and to help you take proactive steps towards relief and helping with any other health condition you might have.

Associated conditions

It is also essential to recognise that constipation can often be a symptom of an underlying condition. In some cases, digestive disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) may contribute to the problem. Additionally, hormonal imbalances, such as diabetes or hypothyroidism can also lead to constipation. By addressing these associated conditions, you can alleviate your constipation and improve your overall well-being.

Dietary and lifestyle considerations

Making simple yet powerful changes in your diet and lifestyle can work wonders for promoting regular bowel movements. Firstly, increasing fibre intake through whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, and nuts can add bulk to our stools and promote healthy digestion. Adequate fluid intake is equally important, so remember to drink plenty of water throughout the day.

Cutting out processed foods, which are often low in fibre and high in unhealthy fats and changing them to natural, unprocessed foods ensures you are nourishing your body while optimising digestive health. 

Nutrients to the rescue

You may also be low or deficient in certain nutrients that play a pivotal role in combating constipation. Magnesium, found in foods like leafy greens, nuts, seeds, and whole grains, helps relax muscles and can improve bowel movements.  

I often use certain types of magnesium supplements in my practice that help many clients have regular and complete bowel movements.


Getting our bodies moving is not only vital for our cardiovascular health but also for maintaining healthy bowel function. Regular exercise helps stimulate intestinal muscles, promoting regularity and preventing constipation. Engaging in activities such as brisk walking, jogging, cycling, or even dancing can do wonders for keeping our digestive system active and vibrant. If you don’t currently exercise, walking is a great option.

Constipation is a very common condition that can cause discomfort, contribute to low energy and brain fog and hinder our overall well-being. By addressing the causes, understanding associated conditions, and adopting dietary and lifestyle changes, it is possible to get rid of constipation and embrace a healthier, more vibrant life. 

To find out more about how I can help you, please visit my website and schedule a complimentary call today.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Nutritionist Resource are reviewed by our editorial team.

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London SW15 & W1H
Written by Melody Mackeown, mBANT, CNHC, BSEM | Nutritional Therapist and Health Coach
London SW15 & W1H

Melody Mackeown is a Nutritional Therapist who specialises in gut disorders.

If you are looking to work with an expert who can help you figure out the best foods for you without the guesswork or faddy diets you are in the right place. Together, we can help figure out the root cause of your digestive problems and find effective solutions.

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