Health

Constipation: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

Evidence Based Article ๐Ÿ“„
This article has been based on relevant and up-to-date scientific studies. Our writers are unbiased and objective and present the facts as they are known. Numbers in brackets within the article refer to sources included in the reference list at the end of the article.

Constipation is a condition which characterizes difficulty in emptying of the bowel. It is associated with hard stool, and everyone goes through it sooner or later. Constipation is not too serious but it is not a comfortable feeling at all.

Adults as well as children, feel constipated at one point in their life. People should have regular bowel movements and when you find yourself going three days without, be prepared for your feces to become extremely hard hence difficult to defecate. We are going to look at the possible constipation causes as well as the symptoms and recommended treatments

The known constipation causes include;

1.Changes introduced into your everyday diet.

Eating new foods that the body is not used to may shock your body and cause indigestion. Introduce new food gradually to enable your body to get used to it.

2.Eating a lot of dairy products.

Milk may be constipating to some people.

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3.Being inactive.

A lazy body means less energy and less energy means low metabolism.

4.Regularly using laxatives.

Over use of laxatives without consulting your doctor may result in hardening of the stool and causing constipation to become more severe.

5.Not taking enough fiber foods and water.

Water and fiber soften food and increase digestion as fiber promotes bowel movements.

6.Being stressed.

Emotional stress may cause someone to resist urges of going to the toilet and just sit around thinking and feeling sorry.

7.Medications like;

  1. Antidepressants like imipramine.
  2. Anticonvulsants like iron supplements.
  3. Antacids that contain aluminium like Basaljel.
  4. Diuretics

8.Irritable bowel syndrome

IBS patients experience constipation symptoms more than other people.

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9.Diseases like:

  1. Neurological conditions like multiple sclerosis.
  2. Metabolic conditions and endocrine conditions like uremia and also diabetes.
  3. Systemic diseases like lupus; they affect a lot of body tissues and organs or generally affect the entire body.
  4. Cancer

Cancer affecting the colon may cause restrictions or blockage of digestive system resulting in indigestion. Also, the pain medications and those for chemotherapy may also play a role in causing constipation,

The changes in hormone brought about by pregnancy may cause a pregnant lady to be more prone to be more prone to being constipated. The uterus might as well compress the intestines, and this slows down food passage.

10.Problems of muscles and nerves in the digestive system.

The muscles and nerves may restrict food passage in the intestines resulting in indigestion.

11.Resisting the need to have bowel movements mainly because of hemorrhoids.

Resisting the urge may be due to many reasons; preferring to use the toilet only when you are at home, and being too busy to use the toilet. Resisting going to the toilet means the urge will go away after sometime and this will cause feces to be harder and harder the more you resist.

When people get older, they are less inactive and metabolism becomes low as well. low metabolism means less intestinal activity which results in constipation as food gets harder to pass through the intestines.

12.A change in routine.

Normal routine changes when you travel. Eating, sleeping and going to the toilet are all done at different times and this may affect digestion which results in constipation.

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The known symptoms of constipation include;

  • Feeling bloated and experiencing a near โ€œrumblingโ€ voice.
  • Experiencing indigestion.
  • Bowel movements are less and infrequent.
  • Dry – hard stool that is difficult to defecate.
  • No appetite.
  • Having a feel that your abdomen has not emptied completely.
  • Pressure causing abdominal pain.
  • Straining when passing stool causing some bleeding.
  • Feeling blockage of anus hence unable to pass stool.
  • Emitting foul smell wind and feces.
  • Lack of energy.

The treatments of constipation are;

1.Do not use medications that may bring about constipation.

Avoid antidepressants, antacids and some pain medications.

2.Do a lot of physical exercises.

Go to the gym and work out. Also, take regular walks and avoid lying around the whole day.

3.Drink at least 1.5 liters of water every day.

Add your everyday water intake to increase metabolism and also soften foods for easier digestion.

4.Eat foods of a high bulk diet and avoid processed foods.

Soften hard stool by drinking stewed prune, prune juice and eat bran that will also reduce gas when you increase the intake amount slowly.

5.Increase fiber intake and eat more whole grains.

Eat a lot of vegetables, flaxseeds and more fruits.

6.Plan regular interval times for having movements of your bowel to train your body.

Train your body to have certain times for movements of your bowel per day for example, after taking breakfast or after dinner.

7.Take warm liquids especially in the morning.

Take warm water with a piece of lemon in the morning. Also, take warm soups if preferred.

  • Use laxatives when in dire need of stool softening; use laxatives for less than fourteen days. If you exceed this mark, visit your physician.
  • Drink less caffeine. Caffeine causes dehydration in your body.
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8.Visit the restroom the minute you get the urge.

Do not ignore the call of nature.

9.Decrease your milk intake.

For those people that dairy products make them constipated, avoid the condition by cutting back or avoiding milk all together.

10.Remove part of your colon.

This only is advisable when constipation resists response to any of the treatments recommended. The anal sphincter and the troublesome segments are removed to get rid of constipation as a last resort.

Constipation can be treated at home if it is not severe. However, when symptoms persist, call your physician. When you notice blood in your feces, you are shedding a lot of weight, experiencing severe movements of the bowel and you have been constipated for more than two weeks, seek medical advice as this may be a severe case of constipation. Constipation is a very common condition and you should not feel humiliated when you are experiencing it.

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