Some people find constipation to be an absolutely miserable condition. Not only does it make you feel bloated and irritable but just trying to relieve this common digestive complaint can take up your whole day or even weeks if necessary! Chronic cases lead to 2-5 million doctor visits every year in America alone--and those numbers continue rising as time goes on with no end in sight for these pain levels deriving from a lack of movement throughout our digestive system (including stool).
Chronic constipation can be a challenging condition to deal with. For some people, it means they have infrequent bowel movements that last weeks at a time, while others mean having difficulty passing stools or straining during defecation, which results in small bowel movements (or none).
Chronic Constipation: Symptoms and Causes
Wouldn't it be simple if you could pinpoint the source of your chronic constipation? Although this is not always the case, your inconsistency in passing bowel motions may indicate one or several causes. Continue reading to discover what your intuition may be communicating to you and what you could do about it.
Here are the main symptoms of constipation:
- difficulty in passing stool
- pain around the anus while passing stool
- passing small amount of stool than usual
- faeces that is lumpy, dry, or hard
It may also include other symptoms such as:
- abdominal discomfort and cramping
- abdominal bloating
- a decrease in appetite
Listed below are possible causes of constipation:
Inadequate fibre in the diet
Individuals who consume a high fibre diet are less prone to have constipation. Fibre promotes regular bowel motions, particularly when combined with enough hydration. About 1.5 to 2L a day is adequate for a 70kg person.
Inactivity on the physical front
Constipation may also be a result of insufficient physical activity.
Several previous studies have discovered that physically fit individuals, such as marathon runners, are less prone to have constipation than the general population. At the same time, the precise causes for this remain unknown. For a normal person, a recommended regimen would be regular exercises about 3 times a week, 30-40 minutes each time
Constipation is more prevalent as people age. The precise reason for this is unknown. This may be related to neurodegenerative disorders, medications, and inactivity. As people age, food may pass through the digestive tract more slowly. Numerous people may have decreased mobility, which may add to constipation.
Irritable bowel syndrome
Individuals who suffer from functional intestinal difficulties, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), are at a greater risk of constipation than those who do not.
Excessive use of laxatives
Specific individuals are concerned that they do not use the restroom frequently enough and take laxatives to address this concern. While laxatives can aid in bowel movements, prolonged use of certain laxatives acclimates the body to their action.
This may result in a person continuing to use laxatives when no longer necessary. Additionally, the individual may require higher doses to achieve the desired effect.
Consuming adequate water regularly can help lower the risk of constipation.
Naturally sweetened fruit or vegetable juices and clear soups are sufficient fluids.
Certain medical conditions that impact the colon can obstruct and hinder stool flow, resulting in constipation.
Several examples of such conditions include the following:
- malignant tumors
- scar tissue
- colorectal stricture, a condition in which the colon or rectum becomes abnormally narrowed
- inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
- Pelvic floor dysfunction – where the pelvic muscles are not moving the proper way to expel the stool
Is There a Connection with Back Pain and Constipation?
Can constipation cause back pain? The answers are yes, and no. Lower back pain and constipation may be symptoms of the same illness or unrelated symptoms that occur concurrently. If these symptoms occur together, a person should seek medical attention. Lower back discomfort is common and generally resolves on its own.
Constipation is also a regular occurrence, and it is typically treatable at home. Constipation might occur as a result of the source of lower back pain. This can occur because of a tumour or growth.
Natural Home Remedies for Constipation
You may be able to resolve your constipation problem independently without the assistance of a physician. While it may seem self-evident, your food significantly impacts how you poop.
Consume more fibre. Fibre helps bulk up and soften stool, making it easier to pass. Raise the quantity of fibre in your diet progressively until you reach a daily intake of at least 20 to 35 grams. Whole grains found in cereals, bread, brown rice, legumes, veggies, and fresh or dried fruits are good sources. Prunes and bran cereal are time-tested cures for constipation.
Maintain adequate hydration - Water is also necessary for constipation prevention. Consume at least eight glasses of water per day.
Consider coffee - While caffeinated beverages and alcohol might dehydrate you, there is evidence that a cup of coffee or tea in the morning may aid in bowel movements.
Avoid foods heavy in fat and lacking in fibre - Cheese, meat, and processed foods can only worsen constipation.
There are also exercises for constipation. Simply standing and moving around can assist with constipation. A regular walking routine — even only 10 to 15 minutes many times a day — can help the body and digestive system function optimally. If you are already fit, you may choose to go for aerobic exercise such as running, jogging, swimming, or swing dancing.
Chronic constipation may indicate a more serious health problem; thus, if you have not had a bowel movement in the last two to three weeks, visit your doctor or healthcare professional. Additionally, medical intervention may be necessary if you are suffering significant stomach pain or are concerned about the presence of blood in your obstructed stool. Consult your physician on approved home remedies for constipation and future constipation prevention.