Constipation can cause significant discomfort and thus diminish your quality of life, so it can be helpful to educate yourself on this topic. Constipation usually occurs as a result of underlying medical issues or due to unhealthy lifestyle choices. If you’re dealing with this condition, you should know which factors are most likely to lead to it. The quicker you identify the cause, the faster you can solve the issue.
In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know about constipation so you can protect your digestive health.
Common Lifestyle Causes
If you often deal with constipation but don’t have any medical issues, look at your lifestyle and eating habits. A diet that sustains healthy bowel movements should be rich in fiber. This means it should include fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Highly processed foods are low in fiber, have little nutritional value, and contain unhealthy amounts of fat and salt. Thus, they can slow down your digestive system. Try to avoid foods such as frozen meals, burgers, hot dogs, white bread, or pastries. Dairy is also known to cause constipation.
Even if you eat as healthy as possible, you can still deal with constipation if you don’t drink enough water or fluids. Moreover, stress and a sedentary lifestyle with little or no exercise can also affect your metabolism. To summarize, if you have a low-fiber diet, don’t keep yourself hydrated, and don’t exercise regularly, you may get constipated regularly.
Medical Conditions and Medications That Cause Constipation
Unfortunately, constipation can often be the symptom of a severe medical condition. Depending on the duration and intensity of your constipation problems, you may have an undiagnosed medical condition, so it’s crucial to visit your doctor for investigations. Some of the common medical and health conditions associated with constipation include colorectal cancer, malfunction of the endocrine system, irritable bowel syndrome, and neurologic disorders, among many others. It’s scary to think that your constipation issues could hide severe health problems, so visit your doctor as soon as you notice something unusual.
Dealing with constipation while taking medications is very common. Many drugs are known to produce this side effect. Some examples include anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen, antidepressants, and allergy medications. If you’re taking any medication, ask your doctor about possible digestive problems.
Remedies to Consider
There are many effective natural or home remedies for constipation. However, before considering any treatment or remedy, seek to identify the root cause of the problem. If you suspect that you’re constipated due to unhealthy habits, make the necessary lifestyle changes to help your metabolism. Consider increasing your fiber intake by eating fresh fruits and vegetables daily. Drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol because it causes dehydration. Add exercise and physical activity to your daily routine. You can manage mild to moderate constipation by focusing on self-care, but always have a stimulant laxative in your home for faster relief. If your problem persists, ask your doctor for a prescription drug.
Everyone deals with constipation occasionally, but it’s vital to know that there are situations when constipation is the result of a more severe issue. Young children, pregnant women, and older people are more prone to constipation, but everyone is at risk. Use the information above to avoid letting this problem affect your physical comfort.