Know the red flags.
Let's get the scary stuff out of the way because serious reasons for constipation are far less common than harmless ones. "There's a small fraction of patients where constipation could be due to some concerning causes," says Singh. Symptoms to watch out for include a family history of colon cancer (especially in someone under 60), weight loss, abdominal pain (not just bloating or discomfort), nausea or vomiting, and blood in the stool (not just in the toilet bowl or on the toilet paper). If you have any of these symptoms along with constipation, you should consult with a medical professional.