Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment of Constipation
Constipation is infrequent bowel movements or difficult passage of stools that persists for several weeks or longer. It is generally described as having fewer than three bowel movements a week. It is the most common digestive problem in the United Nations.
Hard, dry stools are the result of the colon absorbing too much water. When the colon’s muscle contractions are slow or sluggish, the stool moves through the colon too slowly, resulting in too much water being absorbed.
Symptoms of Constipation
Following are the most common symptoms of constipation:
- Difficulty passing stool
- Passing less stool than usual
- Dry and hard stool
- Pain in the abdomen
- Loss of appetite
- Fewer than three bowel movements a week
- straining or pain during bowel movements
- A feeling of fullness, even after having a bowel movement
- Experiencing a rectal blockage
Causes of Constipation
Constipation is a symptom, not a disease, and can be caused by many factors.
The most common causes are the following:
Low Fiber Diet
The bulk and soft texture of fiber help prevent hard, dry stools that are difficult to pass. Fiber promotes regular bowel movements, especially when a person combines it with proper hydration. People with a high intake of dietary fiber are less likely to experience this condition.
Low fiber foods include high-fat foods, processed foods, such as white bread, cheese, meat, and eggs.
Lack of Exercise
A lack of physical activity may also lead to constipation. Some studies have found that people who are physically fit including sportsmen, athletes are less likely to experience constipation.
Some studies found that increasing mobility might help improve this condition among older adults. People who spend more time sitting or lying may have a higher risk of this condition.
There are some medications that can increase the risk of this condition. These include anticonvulsants, calcium channel blockers, diuretics, iron supplements.
Aging cause Constipation
As people age, risk of constipation tends to increase. As people age, food takes longer to pass through the digestive tract. Many people become less active older age which may also contribute to constipation.
Overuse of Laxatives
Laxatives are used to treat constipation, but when abused, laxatives can actually cause this condition to worsen. Laxatives work by artificially stimulating, the nerves in the large intestine. This stimulation makes the intestinal muscles contract and moves the stool out of the body.
In other words, laxatives can be habit-forming. The more a person depends on laxatives, the greater their risk of this condition when they stop using them.
Not drinking enough water
Regularly drinking enough water can help reduce the risk of constipation. Dehydration is one of the most common causes of this condition. The food you eat makes its way from your stomach to the large intestine or colon. If you don’t have enough water in your body already, the large intestine soaks up water from your food waste.
Constipation in Pregnancy
During pregnancy hormonal changes and pressure on your intestines from your growing baby can lead to this condition.
Some other medical conditions can also cause constipation such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, spinal cord injuries, uremia, diabetes, hypercalcemia, and hypothyroidism.
Treatment of Constipation
By changing your diet and increasing physical activity can help you to treat constipation.
Drink more water
When your body is properly hydrated, less water will be withdrawn from the colon. This will keep your stool soft and easy to pass.
Eat more fiber
Add fiber-rich food to your diets such as fresh fruits, vegetables, fortified cereals, whole grains, and beans can treat constipation. Take these foods can help soften stools and make them easier to pass.
People who exercise regularly don’t develop this condition. Physical activity helps constipation by decreasing the time it takes food to move through the large intestine, thus limiting the amount of water absorbed from the stool into the body.
Laxatives are the medicine to treat constipation. It contains chemicals that help increase stool motility, bulk, and frequency thus relieving this condition temporarily. But when misused or overused, they can cause problems.
Food that you should take in Constipation
- Dried plums
- Citrus Fruits
- Spinach and Other Green vegetables
Constipation is a frequent bowel movement or difficult passage of stools that persists for several weeks or longer that can result from dietary habits, medical conditions, and a range of other factors.
You can treat it using home remedies, such as eating more fiber, drinking more water, and getting regular exercise.