The most common causes of constipation include a diet low in fiber, repeatedly ignoring the urge to go body, not drinking enough water or lack of exercise. However, here are the causes of constipation that you may not have thought of, such as certain medications and certain diseases.
First, it is important to clarify that certain conditions such as Inflammatory Bowel Disease, or IBD, include two chronic conditions: Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis. Both can cause colic, weight loss, bloody stools along with other health problems. In Ulcerative Colitis, constipation may be a sign of obstruction in the small intestine. However, if you have only constipation that is not accompanied by other symptoms, it is most likely not the inflamed bowel disease, but proper constipation.
Some Lesser Known/ Hidden Causes Of Constipation
1.Diabetes and Neurological Conditions
On the one hand, diseases such as diabetes can cause difficulties in digestion, so on occasions, blood tests are performed on people who are regularly constipated. On the other hand, neurological conditions such as multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s disease also cause constipation, which is often accompanied by other symptoms such as difficulty urinating or walking.
An inactive thyroid gland causes the body’s metabolic processes, including intestinal, to be slower. However, this does not mean that everybody with thyroid problem inevitably has constipation. In this regard, Harvard Medical School professor of medicine in Boston, Carla H. Ginsburg, says that generally “when you see a person complaining of constipation, is usually linked to a thyroid problem.”
3.Analgesics or Medications
Medications, especially narcotics, can cause constipation. “Many times the receptors for narcotics are in the digestive tract, so they usually generate a halt to this whole system,” explains Thomas Park, a gastroenterologist at the Rochester Medical Center in New York. “Sometimes, it is a good idea for those who should take remedies, also incorporate a mild laxative, to act as a palliative.” Certain studies even indicate that there may be an increased risk of constipation for those individuals who are chronic users of analgesics such as aspirin and ibuprofen.
Constipation can also be an effect of common drugs used to treat high blood pressure, such as calcium blockers and diuretics. In the latter case, they lower blood pressure while increasing the production of urine, which causes water to be expelled from the body. But the body needs the water to keep the feces soft and remove them from the body, and here the problem presents itself. Antihistamines prescribed for allergy symptoms can also be another problem.
Some laxatives work by stimulating bowel activity. However, these should be taken in moderation, prescribed by a professional and for the time indicated in the prospectus. If they are abused, they could lead to dependency, because the body will become accustomed and will not function properly without them.
While vitamins alone do not cause constipation, some components, such as calcium and iron, can sometimes be a problem. Dr. Ginsburg of the American Gastroenterological Association suggests: “I would advise a patient to stop taking calcium unnecessarily unless he/ she really needs it.”
Antacids can be ideal for fighting heartburn but be careful, they can also cause constipation, especially those that contain calcium or aluminum. Fortunately, pharmacies have a wide variety of medications, so if a medication causes you problems, you can always try something different. Another option is, as mentioned above, do not overdo it with meals. In turn, eating foods with less fat and more fiber will help prevent other problems.
A diet rich in cheese and low in foods with little fiber or a lot of fat, such as eggs and meat, can slow down your digestion. The quickest solution is to eliminate or reduce those more fatty foods and replace them with an increase in the fiber of between 20 and 40 grams per day. A practical idea is that if for example, we are going to consume cheese with red meat or eggs, combine them with a portion of salads or other foods that contain fiber, to achieve a balance. And above all: avoid fast or processed foods, which are usually low in fiber.
7.Chocolate Ally or enemy?
On the one hand, there is some evidence that chocolate could cause constipation, although other studies show that chocolate might help some people. For physicians, those with irritable bowel or chronic gastritis should eliminate or reduce substances such as chocolate and black tea.
Paradoxically, antidepressants intended to treat problems such as depression can also cause stomach difficulties. As with hypothyroidism, it causes a drop in normal body processes, which can affect the bowel. Even people with irritability symptoms may be closely related to depression. Therefore, if your doctor has prescribed antidepressants with side effects, consider using some protective to cushion their effects on the intestine.
Although common during pregnancy, constipation can be a major problem during or after childbirth, possibly due to the effort of the abdominal muscles, as well as the use of analgesics or anesthesia.
Aging can also trigger constipation; it gets weaker if not taken proper care. So preventive steps need to be taken early on in life so that one does not have to face such difficulty at a later stage.