There are any number of unfortunate folks, who silently endure the terrible problem of constipation. In fact, nearly two percent of the global population suffer from chronic constipation. Initially constipation was thought to be a problem faced by the elderly and the very young. Well that is not the case today. Adults, especially women, suffer from regular episodes of constipation. So what exactly is constipation?
Constipation goes by many different names including dyschezia, costiveness or dyssynergic defecation. Dyschezia or constipation refers to a change in bowel movements leading to infrequent passage of stools or hard to pass stools. Typically a person is said to be constipated if he or she passes stools only thrice a week. Constipation can lead to the excretion of dry, hard and extremely small sized stools.
Common Causes of Constipation
Every individual suffers from constipation at some point of his or her life. The best way to prevent and treat constipation is to discover the causative factor or factors which have caused constipation in the first place. Through this article we will determine some of the typical and atypical causes of constipation.
Now this will come as a big surprise to most people. If you are wondering what possible link can be there between an underactive thyroid gland and constipation you will be surprised to learn of the fact that there is a definite link between constipation and hypothyroidism.
The thyroid gland is a butterfly shaped gland that is situated in the neck. When the thyroid gland does not function properly it can affect the normal metabolic processes of the body. The slowing down of the normal metabolic processes of the body can affect regular bowel movements. In fact, numerous youngsters suffer from constipation due to an underactive thyroid gland.
Who does not like to bite into a bar of gooey chocolate? But if you are a confirmed chocoholic chances are you may also be suffering from the embarrassing problem of constipation.
Studies have shown that the problem of constipation is very real among people who consume excessive amounts of chocolate. In fact, eating too much chocolate can lead to chronic constipation. Simply cutting back on your chocolate intake can actually bring relief to the embarrassing problem of constipation.
Popping too many vitamin supplements in the name of good health can actually lead to numerous health problems including constipation. Well vitamins as such don’t cause constipation. But the presence of certain elements like iron and even calcium can actually initiate or even aggravate the problem of constipation.
Unless you are suffering from iron deficiency anemia or have weak bones which entails regular intake of calcium supplements there is actually no need to take vitamins. So, think twice before going on a vitamin overdrive.
Excessive Usage of Laxatives
Excessive dependence on laxatives can actually aggravate the problem of constipation. Taking too many laxatives over a long period of time can actually interfere with the normal bowel movements. So you should be extra careful about taking too many laxatives especially stimulant laxatives.
Excessive Consumption of Dairy Products
Eating a lot of dairy based food products can also cause constipation. People who eat a lot of dairy or meat based food products tend to avoid having high fiber foods.
This in turn can lead to constipation. So if you enjoy having a lot of dairy based food items make it a point to include plenty of high fiber food products along with it. For example add a couple of lettuce leaves to your regular cheese sandwich. You can also coarsely chop some almonds into your glass of milk to make.
People who suffer from regular episodes of heartburn are twice as likely to suffer from constipation. Heartburn can cause constipation indirectly. The first thing most people do when they suffer from heartburn is to reach for a strip or bottle of antacids. While antacids can bring quick relief to a bad case of heartburn they can actually initiate or aggravate the problem of constipation. Most antacids contain significant amounts of aluminum and calcium. These elements can interfere with the normal bowel movements.
The best way to stop your excessive dependence on antacids is to make some simple changes in your dietary habits. Stop eating fatty/greasy foods. Instead concentrate on foods which are high in fiber.
As mentioned earlier women are more likely to suffer from constipation as compared to men. The reason behind this is attributed to childbirth. Childbirth can put a lot of stress and strain on a woman’s body. In fact, the abdominal muscles become extremely lax following child birth. Nerve damage which can occur during child birth can also lead to constipation.
Inadequate Fluid Intake
Inadequate fluid intake can also lead to constipation. People who don’t drink enough water will more likely than not experience constipation. So, make it a point to drink at least eight glasses of water every single day.
Dependence on Painkillers
Studies have conclusively shown that excessive dependence on painkillers can actually aggravate the problem of constipation. People who tend to take a lot of painkillers like aspirin or ibuprofen fall into the high risk category for suffering from constipation.
Poor Bowel Habits
It is extremely important to empty your stomach when you experience the urge to pass stools. Holding back or ignoring the desire to pass stools can actually lead to chronic constipation. In fact, people who regularly tend to ignore their bowel movements may suffer from lifelong constipation problems.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
The chances of suffering from constipation is extremely high among individuals who suffer from irritable bowel disease. People who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome suffer from numerous health complications including weight loss, cramping stools, passage of bloody stools and constipation.
Irritable bowel disease can also lead to Crohn’ s disease. Crohn’s disease can lead to the obstruction of the small intestines. This too can lead to severe constipation.
Beware all you couch potatoes out there. There is an incredibly high risk for people who lead sedentary lifestyles to suffer from constipation. So, if you want to avoid the embarrassing problem of constipation make exercise a regular part of your daily life.
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