Six Of The Most Common Causes Of Constipation
Are you constipated again?!
This is not a favorite topic of conversation for anyone...no one really likes to talk about it, but according to a MedicineNet article, at least 63 million people in the United States alone, suffer with constipation, so maybe it needs to be talked about.
To be constipated means you have a difficult time having bowel movements, they are either difficult and often painful, or they don't occur frequently enough. (You should typically have no fewer than every other day.) Some of the symptoms you might experience are:
- Difficulty and straining to go
- Too long between bowel movements
- Small hard stools
- Stomach bloating
- When you do go, the feeling of not being finished
- Feeling like there is a blockage
Most people experience constipation on occasion, but when it's a regular thing, happening week after week, the condition becomes chronic and could lead to other problems, sometimes being linked to hemorrhoids, diverticulitis, fecal incontinence and anal fissures.
There are medications that you can take, but they only provide temporary results and don't address the cause. A better path is to address the causes and make lifestyle changes so you stay healthy.
Common Causes of Constipation and Lifestyle Changes to Help Prevent It:
- Problem: Dehydration - In order for our bodies to eliminate properly, you need to drink plenty of water each day.
- Solution: There is no flat answer for how much water a person needs to drink daily, but a good rule of thumb would be 12.5 cups for men and 11.5 cups for women. This is especially important if you drink caffeinated beverages or alcohol which are diuretics.
- Problem: Lack of fiber in your diet - which is necessary to help move waste through your system.
- Solution: To help with regularity, be sure to add plenty of foods such as nuts, carrots, green beans, apples and citrus fruits and other foods high in fiber to your diet every day.
- Problem: Gut flora - There are times when the gut flora, which consists of both good and bad bacteria, becomes unbalanced due to the lack of good bacteria, this can cause constipation.
- Solution: Taking a good probiotic will help get your system back in balance. Also, add vegetables you don't usually eat to your diet, this will further boost your gut flora.
- Problem: Bowel obstruction - It can be manifested by vomiting, abdominal cramping, loss of appetite, abdominal swelling, constipation and inability to pass gas.
- Solution: You need to see your physician for diagnosis of the problem.
- Problem: Autoimmunity - A condition that your antibodies are attacking your intestines, also known as Colitis or Chron's disease and can be a cause of constipation.
- Solution: A visit to a doctor that practices Functional Medicine can help you reverse the condition and find out why your body is attacking yourself. Low-grade chronic infections, leaky gut, food allergies, and high levels of inflammation can be involved.
- Problem: Thyroid conditions - An underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism), can upset the hormone balance and lead to constipation.interfere with bowel function leading to constipation.
- Solution: Talk to a doctor who specializes in Functional Medicine to determine the cause of your thyroid condition and begin treatment to re-balance your thyroid.