Constipation Symptoms, Causes and Treatment
Constipation is a topic that not many feel comfortable sharing with as this experience can be embarrassing, painful and frustrating. However we will help you through this difficult time and hopefully you will have your bowel movements back on track!
Constipation is a symptom and not a disease and is defined as having infrequent bowel movements. This experience is known to be very uncomfortable and painful.
Symptoms of ConstipationThe most frequent symptoms of constipation are:
- Troubling passing stools/hard stools
- Irregular bowel movements
- A swollen abdomen
Causes of Constipation
Here is a list of the most common causes of constipation;
Fluid intake is very important in cases of constipation as this helps keep your stool soft and easier to pass as fluid is needed in the colon and adds bulk. However liquids such as caffeine, alcohol and cola drinks further worsen the condition by causing even more dehydration. Therefore, it is important to drink liquids that hydrate the body instead of do the opposite. Water and juices are the ideal choice!
Overdose Of Laxatives
Some people take self-medicated laxatives on a regular basis in order to experience regular bowel movements. This is a very bad thing to do as your body starts relying on these laxatives for a bowel movement every time.
Extreme Bodily Changes - Pregnancy, Aging and Travel
During pregnancy, women experience extreme hormonal changes and one of the common effects is constipation as the uterus starts compressing the intestines.
Aging is another factor that can cause constipation. As we age, our metabolism works slower resulting in less intestinal activity.
Traveling can also cause constipation as ones routine is disrupted in terms of a normal diet and a good night’s rest.
Problems In Your Colon Or Rectum
Diseases such as; Adhesions, Diverticulosis, Intestinal Obstruction Disease, Cancer and other similar diseases can apply pressure, constrict and slim the intestines, hence, causing constipation.
Too Many Medications
When consulting a doctor about constipation, the first thing they may ask you is your medical history.
This is because different medications such as pain killer medication, anti depressants, iron supplements, blood pressure medication, and several others may affect your bowel movements.
Lack of Dietary Fiber
Not having enough fiber in your body can also result in constipation. Both soluble and insoluble fiber is important as soluble fiber can dissolve easily in water becoming a soft, gel like texture in the intestines which makes it easier to pass. Whereas insoluble fiber can pass through your colon unchanged. Bottom line being fiber adds an extra bulk while making your stool softer and easier to pass.
Don’t Ignore The Call Of Nature!
Another common cause of constipation is when people ignore the urge of bowel movements! This is a silly mistake and should be avoided at all costs. You may slowly stop feeling the urge of a bowel movement at all! Reasons to avoid the urge including; reluctant children who don’t want to miss out on play time, people who don’t like using public bathrooms and then they are those who are just plain lazy!
Treatment Of Constipation
Here are a few effective ways which can help you overcome constipation.
Increase Your Intake of Fiber!
Fiber helps us pass our stool easily as it adds bulk to our stool and makes it softer. Insoluble fiber is what our body need as the water is easily absorbed, therefore you should opt for a diet high in insoluble fiber. This includes having lots of fruits, vegetables and grain!
Drink Lots Of Fluids!
Keep yourself hydrated! This is key to prevent constipation! However,-+ carbonated drinks, alcohol, and milk actually causes constipation therefore water and other juices are a better option!
Laxatives are basically compounds taken to loosen the stool which help increase the movement of feces along the colon.
Please don’t misuse laxatives as they can cause further constipation.