Constipation is actually one of the most common complaints in today’s day and age. This is probably because constipation can cause quite a lot of trouble to ones who suffer from it. This especially becomes a problem when the constipation becomes a long-term chronic issue.
What does that mean? The definition of chronic constipation is different for different people. For some that means infrequency in passing a stool and for some others it can mean the difficulty in the physical process of passing the stool. No matter how it presents itself, it’s a strain on our daily life and if we know what caused it – we can take care of it more easily.
First and foremost, constipation can be due to your body’s disagreement with your lifestyle. Bad dietary choices can often times lead to constipation, for a few different reasons. Heavy intake of processed foods, high in fat and sugar, is one of the most common reasons for it, as well as the lack of food rich in fiber. If that’s the case, the person most likely doesn’t exercise often enough, which is another important factor leading to constipation. Although caffeine is known to be a good bowel stimulant, too much of it can do the exact opposite. And the last reason could be the lack of water intake, since water makes the passage that much easier.
Additionally, constipation doesn’t have to be a lifestyle consequence, but instead could be the symptom of various underlying conditions. What’s very important to note, constipation doesn’t have to mean that you’re in danger of one of the following conditions, but nevertheless, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to seek professional opinion – just to be on a safe side.
When the thyroid fails to produce enough hormones, that can have a major impact on metabolism. Slow metabolism leads to slower digestion, and ultimately – to constipation. Additional symptoms you might be experiencing, if you’re suffering from hypothyroidism, are fatigue, weight gain, bloating, skin sensitivity, as well as thinning hair and brittle fingernails.
- Irritable bowel syndrome or IBS
The cause of the irritable bowel syndrome is not really understood, but what is understood is the reasons leading up to it, such as constipation. It’s a chronic disease and it needs long-term professional care, and aside from constipation, additional symptoms might include bloating, abdominal cramps, flatulence and occasional, urgent, diarrhea.
Since diabetes is also a hormonal issue, just as hypothyroidism, it can also lead to constipation. Due to the lack of insulin, or due to the change in insulin usability, high levels of blood sugar can damage the nerves in the digestive tract, and that can lead to constipation. Diabetes is well known for it’s symptoms, and those are fatigue, weight loss, impaired vision, constant thirst and others.
- Depression and anxiety
When in this state of mind, the body goes into a fight or flight mode, and it puts digestion on pause, sort of speak. Additionally, depressed people tend to enjoy comfort food which is another word for processed food and often lack enough of physical activity, which by now, we all know is the main cause of constipation.
- Other conditions
Constipation can simply be uncomfortable, but it can also be a key sign of a more serious underlying issue. Let’s take a look at some of the less common, but still very significant causes of constipation:
- Multiple sclerosis;
- Parkinson’s disease;
- Bowel cancer or bowel obstruction;
- Hypercalcemia (too much calcium in the bloodstream);
- Stroke and
- Spinal cord injuries.
The most important thing to note is that constipation is not just something that’s really unpleasant, but as you can see, it’s could also mean that our body is trying to tell us something and is actually asking for help. Whatever you do, don’t ignore the constipation, even if it’s not chronic, since it never happens randomly. It always means there’s something going on inside of our body, and that something needs closer attention. In case it’s chronic, it needs even more attention, and more often than not – it calls for professional help, which you should seek as soon as you can.