Causes Of Constipation
What Causes Constipation & How To Find Relief
If you are looking for causes of constipation, you are most certainly not alone. In fact, constipation is one of the most common complaints that patients have about their digestive systems.
About 80 percent of all Americans suffer from constipation at some point in their lives and more than 2.5 million Americans seek medical treatment for it every year. The medications prescribed aren’t always effective and this leads people to look for home remedies for constipation.
Constipation is usually diagnosed when bowel movements are less than twice a week or when someone has to strain to have a bowel movement more than 25% of the time. Those most commonly affected by constipation are women, children and the elderly.
Causes of Constipation?
Let's look at what causes Constipation. Many factors that contribute to constipation are to do with lifestyle and by making simple changes (although not always easy), it is possible to relieve constipation.
- Poor fibre intake - insoluble fiber helps speed up the transit time of food in the colon as well as drawing water into the colon to soften the stool.
- Not drinking enough fluids, especially water.
- Lack of exercise - physical exercise makes food move more quickly through the gut, thereby reducing the risk of constipation.
- Pregnancy - not too common but likely to happen in the third trimester when the growing baby puts pressure on the bowel.
- IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)
- Foods that cause constipation - some foods can contribute to constipation if one is already prone to it. These include gluten, white bread, white rice, red meat and for some people bananas seem to be a culprit.
- Abdominal mass pressing on the bowel (cyst, tumor, fibroid)
- Anal pain due to fissure or piles
- Bowel obstruction
- Stress and Depression
- Disorders of the central nervous system
- Drugs and medications - some medications, especially ones with opiods can slow down the transit time of food through the gut / stool through the bowel and this can lead to constipation. Other medications like antihistamines, anti-inflammatories and some antidepressants can do the same.
- Old age - decreased mobility and other medical conditions may lead to an increase risk of constipation in older adults.
- Poor muscle tone
- Prostate problems - if the prostate is inflammed then defecation may be painful which may lead to constipation.
- Under-active thyroid - hyperthyroidism can cause all the body's processes to slow down and so cause constipation.
- Weight-loss diets with too little fiber.
Constipation Can Cause Complications
Constipation causes bloating, discomfort and can be painful. Straining can also lead to other problems that makes matters worse.
Some Conditions Caused and Aggravated By Constipation:
- Haemorrhoids (Piles)
Dilated varicose veins in the rectum and around the anus. Haemorrhoids can cause dragging sensations, itching and bright red bleeding. External piles are intensely painful and a dark black purple if the blood is trapped inside the clots. This will resolve on its own over two or three weeks or a doctor can anaesthetise the area and clear out the pile to bring instant relief. Over-the-counter creams and suppositories can relieve inflammation, pain and itching.
- Diverticular disease
This is when the colon wall develops pockets or pouches caused by the mucus layer herniating through the outer muscle layers of the bowel. They interfere with normal bowel function and may make constipation worse. Faeces may become trapped in the pouches and cause inflammation that may need treatment by antibiotic.
- Herbal Remedies for constipation are very effective.
- I found a very resourceful website all about Colon Health which is of course directly related to reflief for constipation.
- Increasing fluids, fibre and doing exercise can help to keep bowel movements regular but there may be times when you need some gentle assistance in the form of natural constipation remedies or supplements.
- Parasites in the intestines can also cause constipation. Read about my Herbal Parasite Cleanse and how it helped me with all my annoying symptoms.
Information on Crohn's Disease
- a digestive disorder.
Gluten Free Diet Advice
Digestive Health Problems
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