When you’re constipated, it means you only have less than three bowel movements per week. However, it could also mean you’re having a difficult time passing stools and you have dry, hard, and small stools. Fortunately, constipation is fairly easy to prevent and treat — that is if you know what’s causing it.
Diet and Lifestyle
A sedentary lifestyle and poor diet are among the top causes of constipation since these could affect the health of your digestive system negatively. The following are factors related to diet that could increase your risk of being constipated:
- High fat and sugar foods
- Dairy products
- Insufficient water and fluid intake
- Inadequate fiber intake
- Excess caffeine or alcohol
It’s crucial to note that whenever you feel like defecating, do so immediately and don’t delay, warns Family Medical Clinic Kendall and other primary care doctors from top walk-in clinics in Miami. They add that frequent delays could result in constipation, as well.
Did you just start taking a new medication and noticed a change in the frequency or form of your bowel movements? That new drug could be the culprit. Medications that could leave you constipated include antacids, diuretics, antidepressants, narcotics, blood pressure drugs, anticonvulsants, and certain supplements. Additionally, laxatives — which are drugs used for treating constipation — are habit-forming so you could become dependent and feel much more constipated if you don’t take them.
In some cases, constipation could be a warning sign or an adverse effect of certain health problems. Spastic colon, commonly known as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), is one of those health issues. Other health problems that are known to cause constipation include the following:
- Parkinson’s disease
- Underactive thyroid or hypothyroidism
- Injury to the spinal cord
Constipation could likewise be caused by aging, so you need to begin to take preventive measures to prevent it, as you grow older.
While constipation could be embarrassing or awkward to discuss, dealing with it could be even more uncomfortable. Always pay attention to bowel movements, eat the right foods, exercise regularly, and visit your doctor frequently to avoid being constipated.