Constipation simply means that you have three or fewer bowel movement, in a week. However, constipation can mean different things to different people. Therefore, for some people it means infrequent stools, for others, it means difficulty in passage of stools or a sense of incomplete passage after a bowel movement.
The causes of each type of constipation are probably different, therefore the approach for each should be tailored to the specific type of constipation.
Causes of Constipation: Diet and Lifestyle
There are two main causes of constipation which are; the diet that we take and the lifestyle that we live.
For the former, too much junk food and lack of food rich in fiber (fruits, vegetables and legumes) can lead to constipation, whereas the latter is simply lack of exercise and sometimes, when we feel like defecating, its important to use the bathroom immediately, putting off to a more convenient time may lead to constipation.
Diet-Related constipation can be caused by the following;
- Dairy products
- Foods high in fat and sugar
- Lack of high-fiber foods (like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains)
- Lack of water and other fluids
- Alcohol or caffeine
When there are changes in your routine, it can cause problems in your digestive system, consequently resulting in constipation because of sporadic access to bathrooms, lack of exercise, and changes in diet.
Causes of Constipation: Medications
Constipation can be caused by frequent medications. It can be a common side effect of many frequent medications. If you notice a change in the form or frequency of your bowel movement, after taking a new drug, ask your doctor if the medication could be the cause.
Sometimes the medicine to constipation might also be the cause of constipation; laxative. Taking too much laxative may cause your digestive system to become too dependent on it.
In addition, some common medications that can cause constipation are diuretics, antacids (with aluminum and calcium), narcotics, antidepressants, supplements, anticonvulsants, and blood pressure treatments.
Causes of Constipation: Health Conditions
Severe health conditions can cause constipation either as a side effect or symptom. This can be caused when such health conditions become responsible for the slow passage of stool through the colon, resulting in constipation.
One of the most health conditions that cause constipation is the Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). It is a well-known health condition responsible for the cause of constipation. According to research, IBS patients have highly sensitive colons and must, therefore, monitor what they eat.
Below are some other health conditions that can cause constipation;
- Parkinson’s disease
- Spinal cord injury
- Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid)
In conclusion, constipation simply means that you have three or fewer bowel movement, in a week. It is sometimes uncomfortable to talk about and more uncomfortable to deal with.
Some of the known causes of constipation are; conditions caused by diet and lifestyles, conditions caused by medication and conditions caused by health.
Therefore, whichever source yours originates from, it is advisable to discuss with your doctor about it for a more personalized information.