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Being constipated is downright uncomfortable.

"Some people think if they don't have a bowel movement every day, they're constipated. But being constipated means that you have two or fewer bowel movements each week," said internal medicine physician Sean McCall, DO, Geisinger Mt. Pleasant in Scranton.

Constipation is also present if you experience straining, a feeling of being blocked up, hard stools, or feeling that you don't completely empty your bowels.

"If you're constipated, you may also feel cramping, bloating, nausea, or pain in the rectum from straining," Dr. McCall said.

If this feeling lasts for several weeks or even longer, here's what you can do at home to unblock yourself and feel relieved.

"Treating constipation typically begins with diet and lifestyle changes with the purpose of increasing the speed at which stool moves through your intestines," Dr. McCall said.

First, try increasing your intake of fiber — adding fiber into your diet increases the weight of stool and can speed its passage through the intestines.

"A sudden increase in the amount of fiber you're eating can trigger uncomfortable bloating and gas, so start adding it to your diet slowly and increase the amount you consume over a few weeks," Dr. McCall said. To add more fiber into your diet, eat more fresh fruits and vegetables as well as choosing whole-grains.

You should also make sure you're drinking enough fluids each day.

"You should aim to drink between eight and 10 glasses of water or non-caffeinated drinks each day. If you already are, two to four extra glasses of water a day may help ease constipation," Dr. McCall said, adding that dehydration is one of the most common causes of chronic constipation.

If you're constipated, not only should you focus on warding off dehydration by drinking more fluids, but you should also avoid alcoholic or caffeinated beverages.

"For some people, drinking warm liquids, especially in the morning, can help unblock them," Dr. McCall said.

Exercising most days of the week can also help relieve your constipation.

"Physical activity can increase the muscle activity in your intestines, helping move things along easier and faster," Dr. McCall said. Exercise to ease constipation doesn't have to be drastic — it could be as simple as walking each day.

And, simply, make time for a bowel movement each day.

"Our lives can get busy, especially if you feel like you're in a rush to get to work in the morning, but it's important to not ignore the urge to have a bowel movement," Dr. McCall said. Schedule a time each day to take your time in the bathroom — this can allow you enough time to have a bowel movement without distractions or feeling rushed. Plus, establishing a routine may help.

Putting some focus on the position of your body during a bowel movement can make a difference, too.

"Some people find placing a small step stool under their feet while sitting on the toilet makes bowel movements easier — this position can help you flex your hips and place your pelvis in a more natural squat position," Dr. McCall said.

If none of these changes help unblock you, consider adding processed or synthetic fiber to your daily diet, stool softener, a rectal glycerin suppository or laxatives.