What causes constipation?
When your digestive rhythm gets thrown off, it can be tricky knowing what to pinpoint as the cause. However, understanding the factors leading to constipation can help you find a path to solving the problem.
The usual suspects
While constipation is a common condition, it can be triggered by different factors in different people. It could be an unbalanced diet, a lack of exercise or just a sign that your digestive system is not functioning as it should. A better understanding of what’s causing you to feel weighed down, can help you find the right path to get back to feeling lighter.
Your diet has a big impact on your digestion. If you’re not eating well or getting enough fluid and fibre in your diet , then your digestive system might slow down enough to cause constipation.
Travel can be a big culprit for disrupting your regularity, especially if it also involves a change in diet and routine. You can even suffer because you’re not in a place where you feel comfortable using the toilet.
A lack of exercise or sitting or lying down for long periods of time can also clog your system. Sometimes you can’t do much about this, especially if you have a condition that requires bed rest or limits your mobility.
Hormones can be tricky, changing at any moment. Whether it’s your period, pregnancy or menopause, hormones can cause the physical changes that lead to constipation.
Constipation can be a side effect of taking medications such as some painkillers, tranquilisers, medication for hypertension or even iron supplements. Make sure to read the medication labels carefully and speak to your doctor or pharmacist if you experience any side effects.
Constipation affects around one third of people aged 60 and over*, with women being particularly susceptible. As well as natural changes to the gut, constipation can also be triggered by age-specific drugs such as anti-inflammatories, a low-fibre diet, lack of exercise and limitations to physical movement, and a decreased thirst.
*American Gastroenterological Association technical review on constipation, Gastroenterology. 2013 January ; 144(1): 218–238
Sometimes the symptoms of constipation can be caused or intensified by illness. While some people may suffer from acute illnesses such as bowel obstruction, others suffer from constipation caused by chronic intestinal ailments such as irritable bowel syndrome. Different illnesses such as Parkinson’s disease and hypothyroidism can also cause constipation.
Regain your rhythm
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