What Could Be the Cause of Your Constipation?

Constipation is a very common digestive disorder that occurs when there is difficulty in passing stool or bowel movements become infrequent. Specifically, if you only pass stool about 3 times a week, you can be diagnosed with constipation. On top of this, whenever you do pass stool, it may be very hard and dry, and cause a lot of pain.

Having occasional constipation is quite common and not much to be worried about (though you still need to take care and be mindful). However, chronic constipation, with the disorder frequently arising over long periods, can greatly interfere with one’s routine and productivity.

If you think you might be suffering from chronic constipation, we highly recommend you visit a physician to properly diagnose the condition. We suggest a Best General physician in Lahore if you reside in the area.

Table of contents

  • Causes of constipation
  • Risk Factors
  • Symptoms

Causes of Constipation

The most common cause of constipation is a faulty diet. A poor diet that is low on fiber and water intake can result in very hard stool that is difficult to move through the colon. Fiber comes in both soluble and insoluble forms. The former mixes with water through the system to form a gel-like substance, making the stool soft, while the latter maintains its structure and makes it easier for the stool to move through the digestive tract.

Other causes besides a diet that is low in fiber include:

  • Stress resulting in reduced or delayed muscle contractions
  • Dehydration resulting in reduced moisture in stool
  • Lack of exercise
  • Altering routine by restraining bowel movements
  • Medications such as antacids high in calcium and pain medications, and overusing laxatives
  • Pregnancy
  • Bowel obstructions
  • Colon or rectal cancer
  • Anal fissures
  • Narrowing of the colon
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Diverticulosis

Some causes are linked to damage to neurons in the nervous system that are responsible for controlling muscle movement in the colon. These include:

  • Autonomic neuropathy
  • Strokes
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Injury to the peripheral nervous system

Risk Factors

Though the main risk factors of developing constipation are a poor diet and low water intake, there are a few others that put you at a greater risk of having the condition. These include:

  • Age: It has been shown that adults over the age of 65 are very prone to having constipation, as they have underlying medical conditions, has poorer diets, and have weakened musculature.
  • Sex: Women have also been shown to be affected by constipation more often than men are.
  • Pregnancy: This is accompanied by a lot of hormonal changes as well as pressure being placed on the lower intestine due to the growing baby, leading to a greater risk of developing the condition.
  • Medications: Certain medications such as sedatives, opioids, and anti-depressants could increase the risk of developing the condition.
  • Low physical activity: If you have a condition that confines you to bed or prevents you from being physically active, you’re more likely to develop constipation.

Symptoms

Apart from the reduced frequency of bowel movements and associated pain, there are a few other symptoms of the condition. These include a feeling of fullness in the rectum despite having passed stool, straining to bring about a bowel movement and feeling that there’s a blockage preventing your bowel movements.

If you feel as though you’re suffering from these symptoms, consistently over long periods of time or otherwise, you should consult a physician. If you live in Islamabad, these General physicians in Islamabad are good options.

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