Let’s face it, constipation happens. In fact, constipation is extremely common among all ages and populations in the U.S., with 16 out of 100 adults experiencing symptoms of constipation at one point or another. While some forms of constipation are unavoidable, others can be alleviated with lifestyle, diet changes, or other forms of treatment such as medication. Below, we discuss why constipation happens and six common causes of constipation.
Constipation is a condition of the digestive system where an individual has fewer than three bowel movements a week. Constipation usually occurs when fecal matter remains in the colon too long and the colon begins absorbing the water from the stool, causing them to become hard, dry, and difficult to pass.
Symptoms of Constipation
Fewer bowel movements
Straining to pass stool
Hard or small stools
The sensation that after a bowel movement you still need to go
Common Causes of Constipation
Both changes in your normal diet and a poor diet lacking in proper vitamins and nutrients can contribute to constipation. If your diet does not contain enough fiber, you may experience regular or chronic constipation. It is important to consume foods rich in fiber such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Fiber promotes bowel movements and prevents constipation.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
Some people who suffer from the chronic GI condition IBS can exhibit constipation as a predominant symptom or their IBS, or may alternate between constipation and diarrhea.
Changes in routine
When a person travels, their normal routine changes. This can affect the digestive system, which sometimes results in constipation. Meals are eaten at different times, or a person might go to bed, get up, and go to the toilet at different times. All these changes can raise the risk of constipation.
Constipation can also occur in people who are physically inactive, especially older adults. While researchers aren’t certain the connection between a lack of physical activity and constipation, most believe that physical activity helps keep the metabolism high and keep bodily processes moving along more quickly.
Pregnancy brings about hormonal changes that can make a woman more susceptible to constipation. Also, the uterus may compress the intestine, slowing down the passage of food.
Some medications prescribed for other diseases or ailments can cause constipation as a side effect. The most common medications that have been known to cause constipation are:
· pain (opiod) medications
· aluminum-containing antacids
While millions of people suffer from intermittent constipation once in a while, if you suffering from chronic constipation, contact a colorectal specialist today. Call the specialists at Colorectal Clinic of Tampa Bay today to schedule your consultation and get back on track to regular bowel movements.