Constipation can be an uncomfortable and disruptive occurrence in anyone’s life. Although almost everyone goes through it at some point in life, a change in routine, eating habits, and physical activity may make it more frequent. 

Let’s find out what constipation is, what are its causes, and remedies to resolve it.

Constipation is a gastrointestinal (relating to the stomach and intestines) condition in which your bowel movements become infrequent and you have to strain to pass stools.

Symptoms of Constipation

Primary symptoms of constipation are difficulty/straining while passing stools and though the number of bowel movements in a day varies from person to person, having less than three bowel movements in a week is usually regarded as constipation. 

Other symptoms of constipation include:

  • Dry and hard stools
  • Pain during bowel movements
  • Stomach ache or cramps
  • Bloating and nausea
  • A feeling that your bowels have not been completely emptied (1)

Causes of Constipation

When food moves through your digestive tract, nutrients are absorbed. The digested food (waste) moves from the small intestine to the large intestine (colon). 

The colon absorbs water from this waste and creates stool. In constipation, the digested waste may move too slowly through the digestive tract and lose excess water, resulting in dry and hard stools.

Some factors may contribute to constipation, including:

  • A low-fibre diet
  • Delaying the urge to have a bowel movement
  • A diet high in dairy products
  • Stress
  • Dehydration
  • Pregnancy
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Underlying medical problems
  • Change in routine
  • Certain medications

Older adults (above age 65), women (pregnant or otherwise), and individuals with a mental health condition such as depression or an eating disorder are at higher risk of constipation (2). 

However, mild to moderate constipation can be managed at home, by making changes to your lifestyle.

Home Remedies

Here are some things you can do to manage constipation at home:

1. Drink enough water to stay hydrated. Include warm liquids in the morning.

2. Eat fibre-rich fruits like apples, pears, figs; vegetables like spinach and other leafy greens; and whole grains such as oats, barley, whole wheat, etc., to increase the bulk and consistency of your bowel movements.

3. Increase your physical activity to keep the muscles in your intestine active.

4. Consume probiotics (foods with live bacteria beneficial for your gut) such as curd and prebiotic (compounds in food that promote the growth or activity of probiotics) foods such as garlic, onions, and bananas, to improve the balance of beneficial gut bacteria.

5. Avoid dairy products as these may cause constipation in some people.

6. Do not ignore the impulse to pass stool. Visit the toilet when you have an urge and pass stools.

While home remedies are always trusted, they may or may not work for everyone. Another option is herbal remedies such as rhubarb and senna, both of which are used in over-the-counter (OTC) laxatives (a type of medicine that helps you empty your bowels). 

Although these remedies are natural and may give effective results, they have stimulants in them which may make them habit-forming (3).

Additionally, some regular over-the-counter or prescription laxatives could also become habit-forming if taken on a regular basis and without consulting a doctor (4).

Thus, a milk of magnesia based laxative is a great option to relieve constipation. Cremaffin, one such 3-in-1 laxative is an effective option for people with constipation and has been shown to provide relief (5).

Cremaffin for 3-in-1 Relief

Cremaffin, a laxative product manufactured by Abbott India Limited that is gentle on your stomach, provides relief in just 8 hours, and most importantly, is non-habit forming.

  • It is available in an easy-to-consume syrup form.
  • It consists of Milk of Magnesia (magnesium hydroxide, a naturally occurring mineral) and liquid paraffin (a type of mineral oil).
    • Milk of Magnesia draws water into your intestine to soften the stool.
    • Liquid paraffin lubricates the intestinal lining, thus helping in the easy passing of the stools.
  • It is sugar-free and available in mint and mixed fruit flavours.
  • The recommended dosage for Cremaffin is:
    • For adults and children over 12 years: 1/2 to 1 tablespoonful
    • For children aged 5 to 12 years: 1 to 2 teaspoonfuls
    • For children aged 3 to 5 years: 1/2 to 1 teaspoonful
    • Or as advised by the physician.
  • It is best taken preferably with water, at bedtime and if necessary, again in the morning. It can also be taken as advised by your physician.

Cremaffin is the No.1 doctor-recommended constipation relief (6) product! It is available across all leading e-commerce platforms and your nearest pharmacies. For more information on pricing and other details, click here.


1. Available at Last accessed on 22 July 2021.

2. Available a Last accessed on 22 July 2021.

3. Available at Last accessed on 16 July 2021.

4. Available at Last accessed on 16 July 2021.

5. Available at Last accessed on 16 July 2021.

6. SMSRC MAT FEB 2020. Cremaffin is No.1 prescribed laxative brand in Milk of Magnesia laxatives.

Disclaimer: This article is written by Practo and sponsored by Abbott India Limited as part of a collaboration activity for public interest. The content presented on this page is for informational and educational purposes only, and should not be considered as a substitute for medical expertise. Please "DO NOT SELF-MEDICATE" and seek professional help regarding any health conditions or concerns. All the images on this page are for representation purpose only. Practo and Abbott will not be responsible for any act or omission arising from the interpretation of the content present on this page.