You have constipation if you pass stool less than four times a week. It is a common gastro ailment affecting about 22% of India’s population. This discomforting condition can be a persistent problem unless you understand the causes and treat it accordingly.
What causes Constipation?
There can be several reasons, and sometimes a combination of two or more. Here are some.
- The most common culprit behind constipation is a diet that does not consist of enough fibres. People with restricted diets, for example, those who have Inflammatory Bowel Disease, may not get sufficient roughage. Fibres facilitate bowel movement because they soften the stool.
- Another chief reason is not drinking enough water. Water keeps the entire body hydrated including your stool. Dried up stool means hard stool, which is difficult to pass.
- Eating dairy products can cause constipation.
- Pregnancy and hormonal changes
- Constipation can be the side effect of certain medicines like anti-depressants and antibiotics.
- Stress and a sedentary lifestyle are also linked to this disorder.
Constipation may not be a serious threat to your health. But sometimes the underlying cause can be neurological disorders like Parkinson’s or multiple sclerosis. It can also stem from other disorders like an underactive thyroid, colon cancer. To determine the underlying cause of your constipation problem, consult a specialist on MediBuddy.
What are the Symptoms of Constipation?
- Not being able to defecate every day
- Having to strain to pass bowel
- Hard and dark stool
- Bloating of the abdomen
- A feeling that you haven’t been able to expel all of the faeces
- Pain and discomfort in the anal region after defecation
Remedies for Constipation
The first line of defence against this condition is lifestyle changes.
- You need to consume at least 30 grams of fibre every day. Your diet must include whole grains, pulses, fruits, green vegetables, seeds, and nuts.
- Remember to drink at least 8 glasses of water every day to ease bowel movement.
- You should aim to work out at least 5 times every week. Exercise keeps your intestines healthy and helps in the smooth movement of stool.
However, if these measures do not work, your doctor will prescribe laxatives.
If you find blood in your stool, or experience intense pain or start losing weight for no reason, you should immediately consult a doctor. In such cases, you might have to undergo blood tests or a colonoscopy to see if there are any blockages in your colon. Based on the results, your doctor will decide on a course of action.
While constipation may not make you lose sleep with worry, it can be a warning sign of graver problems. That is why you should get it treated at the earliest.