Constipation is a condition in which a person experiences difficulty emptying the bowel. Constipation occurs when a person does not defecate more than three times per week. Although home cures and lifestyle modifications can help, it is usually necessary to seek medical care.
Constipation can occur for a variety of reasons, including when stool moves too slowly through the colon. The slower it moves, the more water the colon absorbs and the firmer the stool becomes, resulting in constipation. An obstruction in the large intestine can also cause constipation. A person in this situation will require immediate medical assistance.
Below are 7 other possible causes of constipation.
1. Irritable bowel syndrome
People with functional intestinal disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), are more likely to experience constipation. A person with IBS may experience symptoms like abdominal pain, bloating, distension, and changes in the frequency or consistency of stools. Constipation is a common symptom of IBS, and it can change over time. If you have irritable bowel syndrome, ask your doctor about meds to treat constipation.
Constipation is becoming more common as individuals become older. Constipation affects up to 40% of elderly people. The actual reason for this is unknown but the food may take longer to travel through the digestive tract as individuals get older. Many people become less mobile as a result of this, which can lead to constipation. Other factors that contribute to constipation with age include health disorders, drugs, and poor fiber or water consumption.
3. Lack of fiber in the diet
Constipation is less prevalent in people who consume a significant amount of dietary fiber. This is because fiber encourages regular bowel movements, especially when combined with enough water. Some of the products high in fiber include fruits, vegetables, nuts, lentils, chickpeas, and whole grains. Consuming them regularly and drinking enough water during the day can help you improve your bowel movements.
4. Ignoring the urge
If you ignore the urge to poop, you may eventually stop feeling the need. Maybe you don't go because you're too busy or don't want to use a public restroom. However, if you do this frequently, you may get constipation. Use the restroom as soon as you feel the need, no matter where you are.
5. Physical inactivity
Constipation can also be caused by a lack of physical activity. Physically active people, such as marathon runners, are less prone to have constipation than others. Constipation is more likely in those who spend most of the day sitting in a chair. Try to exercise every day. It doesn't have to be an intense workout. All that matters is that you move regularly. Even a 15-minute walk might be beneficial.
6. Laxatives overuse
Some people are concerned that they don't use the bathroom frequently enough, and start using laxatives to address this issue. Laxatives can aid with bowel movements, but prolonged use of some laxatives causes the body to get used to their effects.
This might lead to a person using laxatives when they don't need them. To have the same impact, the person may need bigger dosages. In other words, laxatives can become addictive. This means that the more a person depends on laxatives, the greater the risk of constipation when they stop taking them.
7. Health problems
Several colon-related health conditions can affect the work of your digestive tract and lead to constipation. While some of them are relatively harmless, others may be extremely dangerous to your health. Examples of the conditions that might cause constipation include cancerous tumors, hernia, scar tissue, inflammation, diverticulitis, and others.
Neurological conditions and health problems that involve hormonal fluctuations may also result in constipation. For this reason, if you have chronic constipation, it is crucial to visit a gastroenterologist to find out the root cause and get treatment.