What is constipation?
This condition can occur in an infant, toddler, child, and an adult
It is very good to treat constipation at its early stage before it gets chronic because, at the chronic stage, a lot of medication is required which might cause discomfort to you.
This is a situation whereby a person has an uncomfortable bowel movement.
The bowel movement results in a small amount of dry and hard stool which occurs three times a week.
Types of constipation
It is categorized into two groups based on the cause, we have primary and secondary constipation.
1. The secondary constipation
These are caused related to organic diseases or medications, the causes of secondary constipation include; pregnancy, metabolic disorders such as diabetes, neurological diseases, electrolytes imbalance, and medications
2. The primary constipation
These are caused by intrinsic problems of colonic which include;
- Occurs in normal transit
- Includes evacuation disorder which is caused by the malfunction of sphincter muscles.
- The slow transit constipation which is caused by an infrequent bowel movement.
Foods to avoid
Alcohol is not a major cause of constipation but it’s frequently mentioned as a likely cause because when you take alcohol in large amounts it tends to increase the number of fluids which is lost during urine which will result in dehydration and poor hydration or losing too much water in urine result to a high risk.
2. Grains(processed grains)
Grains or processed grains and their products may result in constipation, these products include white rice, white pasta, white bread, etc These products are low in fiber which is a main cause of constipation.
3. Red meat
This is a major cause of constipation or may worse constipation for 3 major reasons which are
-Red meat contains little fiber
-Red meat also reduces a person’s total fiber intake
4. Milk and dairy products
Dairy is a common cause of constipation due to some reasons.
Children, toddlers, and infants are at higher risk due to the sensitivity to the proteins found in cow milk.
Research shows that a lot of children stopped consuming cow milk due to constipation
5. Fast foods
Frequent consumption of fast foods may increase risk. This is because fried foods are high in fat and low in fiber and the combination of both can slow down digestion.
Fast food such as chips, chocolate, cookies, and ice cream may replace fiber-rich snack options like fruits and vegetables in a person’s diet
It is a very devastating condition that is very common and so it is advisable to avoid constipating foods.
Causes of constipation
The causes are usually classified into 3 categories which include: lifestyle choices, medications, pregnancy, and medical conditions.
Lifestyle causes include;
- Poor intake of water
- Not doing much exercise
- Eating foods that are low in fiber
- Accumulated stress
- Resisting the urge to use the toilet
There are many causes of constipation – lifestyle choices, medications, medical conditions, and pregnancy.
Medical causes include:
- Medicines like narcotics that contain codeine hydromorphone and oxycodone
- Anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and naproxen
- Antacids that contain calcium or aluminum.
- Pills that contain iron
- Blood pressure medicines which include verapamil and nifedipine
- Psychiatric medications which include olanzapine and clozapine
- Seizure medication which includes gebacopine
There are so many other drugs that can cause constipation so it’s very important to ask your doctor or a pharmacist if you have any questions or confusion.
Health conditions causes
- Neurological disorders which include injury in the spinal cord and stroke
- Bowel syndrome i.e There are contractions in the colon and it retains stool.
- Several organ diseases
- Complications in the digestive tract.
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Here are some signs and symptoms of constipation
- When you experience hard or lumpy stools
- When you pass less than three stools a week
- When you feel like there is a blockage in your rectum which prevents bowel movements.
- When you feel as though you don’t empty stools completely from your rectum
- When you find it difficult to empty your rectum and you have to use your fingers to remove the stools from your rectum
Dangers of constipation
Constipation has lots of effects on the body which includes
- Swollen veins around the anus
- Having torn skin in or around your anus
- Having stool that can’t be expelled
- Experience rectal prolapse i.e intestines that –protrude from the anus
Further complications are stated below
The accumulated amount of fermented carbohydrates as a result of constipation can result in fatigue
2. Weight gain
Accumulated still can add a few extra kilos and also have excess estrogen in your system.
3. Constipation affects the skin
This is one of the major effects that comes with constipation, it results in skin and acne breakouts.
4. Brittle nails and hair thinning
It causes nutritional deficiency which affects the nail and the hair and this has an effect on our health and well-being. This also makes a person have low self-esteem, and not be confident out there because of the nature of the hair and nails
5. Poor Immunity
The immune system becomes weak as a result of toxic build-up and inflammation which tends to leave you vulnerable to infections which include urinary tract infections.
6. Structural conditions
It causes structural problems that might end up requiring surgical intervention. Sitting in the toilet for a long period can result in rectal prolapse and anal fissures.
It results in mood and anxiety disorders. This is a situation whereby you will have low self-esteem because you can’t visit the toilet and it ends up causing depression.
Home remedies for constipation
Some home remedies will help to avoid constipation but if it persists then you have to see a doctor.
- Drink a lot of water
- Exercise more
- Take glucose supplements
- Avoid dairy products
- Take Coffee often
- Eat Fiber specifically soluble fiber
- Drink senna regularly
- Have good relaxation and posture
- Ginger tea
In Conclusion, constipation is not a thing to joke about, it is a very devastating condition that can deprive you of living healthily and comfortably. It is very important to eat healthily, exercise regularly, and avoid anything that will result in ill health.
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