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Constipation is a condition of the digestive system in which a person or animal experiences hard feces that are difficult to expel. This usually happens because the colon absorbs too much water from the food. If the food moves through the gastro-intestinal tract too slowly, the colon may absorb too much water, resulting in feces that are dry and hard. Defecation may be extremely painful, and in severe cases lead to symptoms of bowel obstruction. Treatments consist of changes in dietary and exercise habits, the use of laxatives, and other medical interventions depending on the underlying cause.