Constipation usually consists of straining when you try to have a poo, feeling as through you haven’t fully emptied your bowels, passing poo that’s either larger or smaller than normal, or that’s hard and lumpy, or having fewer than three bowel movements a week.
You may also have stomach ache and feel bloated or sick.
The most common causes include not eating enough fibre, not drinking enough fluids, and stress.
But some simple changes to your diet can help treat constipation and you may notice a difference within a few days.
The NHS has three recommended diet changes to make your poo softer and easier to pass.
The first is to drink plenty of fluids and avoid alcohol.
Secondly, increase the fibre in your diet. One way to do this is to go for wholemeal or granary breads.
Finally, try adding some wheat bran, oats or linseed to your diet.
The health body also recommends increasing your activity – a daily walk or run can help you poo more regularly.
Improving your toilet routine could also help. It states: “Keep to a regular time and place and give yourself plenty of time to use the toilet. Don’t delay if you feel the urge to poo.
“To make it easier to poo, try resting your feet on a low stool while going to the toilet. If possible, raise your knees above your hips.”
Another cause of stomach bloating can be trapped wind, and this can be a result of swallowing too much air.
Bupa recommends four things you can do to get rid of trapped wind.
Firstly you should avoid eating or drinking too quickly.
You should also avoid chewing gum and drinking fizzy drinks.
Finally, it recommends you stop smoking.
It explains: “You produce gas in your bowel when the food you’ve eaten is broken down to be absorbed.
“Certain foods such as pulses, bran and fruit, can increase the amount of gas you produce, so try to limit these. Regular exercise may also help to reduce your symptoms.
“If your symptoms don’t get better after you make changes to your diet, or they get worse, speak to your GP. Most people with wind and bloating don’t have an underlying health problem.
“But flatulence can sometimes be caused by a condition such as constipation, irritable bowel syndrome or lactose intolerance.”
David Wiener from fitness app Freeletics also has a list of foods you should cut down on in order to get rid of bloating.