In the realm of bodily functions, digestion takes the lead role, orchestrating nutrient absorption and waste elimination. Yet, disruptions like constipation can throw this symphony off-key, leading to discomfort. This blog covers common causes, risks, and indications when professional medical help is vital.
Constipation isn't a standalone issue but a dynamic interplay of various factors that hinder the smooth flow of waste through the digestive system. It involves infrequent bowel movements and difficulty passing stools. While occasional constipation is common, chronic constipation can adversely affect well-being.
What are the causes of constipation?
- Diet Matters, low fiber, highly processed foods restrict stool bulk, hindering movement. Fiber adds volume and smooths stool passage.
- Hydration, Inadequate water intake results in hard stools that are tough to pass. Hydration maintains stool consistency.
- Lack of Movement, physical activity stimulates intestinal muscles, aiding bowel movements. A sedentary lifestyle slows bowel function.
- Medication, some medications like opioids, calcium-rich antacids, and certain antidepressants can lead to constipation.
- Health conditions like hypothyroidism, hypercalcemia, diabetic mellitus, and neurological disorders can disrupt digestive rhythm.
Neglecting persistent constipation can lead to these risks:
- Hemorrhoids: Straining during constipation can cause painful hemorrhoids.
- Fecal Impaction: Chronic constipation leads to hardened stool accumulation in the colon and rectum, requiring medical intervention.
- Rectal Prolapse: Excessive straining can lead to rectal prolapse, where part of the rectum protrudes from the anus.
- Reduced Well-being: Constipation impacts life, causing discomfort, stress, and reduced well-being.
While occasional constipation can improve with lifestyle changes, consult the specialists at the Bumrungrad Motility Clinic if you experience,
- New development of constipation: If constipation lasts over two weeks despite diet and hydration changes, consult a doctor.
- Persistent constipation: if you are not satisfied with over the counter laxative treatment, consult a doctor.
- Severe Pain: Intense abdominal pain, bloating, or cramps with constipation might signal an underlying issue.
- Blood in Stool: Blood in stool indicates potential gastrointestinal problems needing medical assessment.
- Unexplained Weight Loss: Constipation with unexplained weight loss could indicate a health problem requiring evaluation.
- Altered Bowel Habits: Sudden, unexplained changes in bowel habits, like alternating constipation and diarrhea, merit medical attention.
Constipation isn't merely a nuisance but a message from your body about digestion's complexity. Grasping causes, risks, and when to seek medical aid empowers you to manage digestive health. Your body communicates through discomfort; heeding these messages leads to a healthier life.
For more information please contact: