Being constipated means that your bowel movements are difficult or they are happening less often than normal. The length of time between bowel movement varies from person to person. Some people might have 3 times a day or some have once or twice a week. But if it goes longer than 3 days then it’s time to think because stool or feces become hard after 3 days and causing difficulty to pass during a bowel movement. The most obvious causes of constipation are low fiber diet, lack of water and exercise and repeatedly ignoring the urge to go. But there are also some less known and secret things that cause constipation and you might have ignored them. So, here we give you 10 amazing causes of constipation that you may not have considered and that helps you to prevent constipation:
Yes, the same thing that helps you in getting rid of constipation can also cause the problem. How is it possible? The biggest mistake that most of people make is that they increase their fiber intake without upping the intake of water. According to gastroenterologist Niket Sonpal, MD, a balance between fiber and water is most important thing that keeps your bowel movements regular. Fiber soaks up water and due to lack of water the stools become hard. So, it is recommended to gradually increase your fiber intake along with water intake, only then you can take benefit from Fiber.
Too Much Dairy:
A full fat dairy intake can cause constipation because of low fiber and high fat content. The dairy products can slow down the process of digestion. So, you can either cut down on your intake of dairy products or make a balance by adding fiber rich foods in your diet.
White rice is refined and so it lacks all the essential nutrients such as fiber, proteins, calcium, potassium and magnesium. These indigestible fibers in white rice obstruct the bowels and leads to constipation. So, it is recommended to opt for brown rice because they are nutritionally superior and contain digestible fiber that helps in getting rid of constipation.
Low Potassium Intake:
Potassium is an electrolyte for a proper movement of muscles. When the level of potassium is low then the muscles of colon don’t move and leads to constipation. Fortunately, the cure is very simple. You can increase the level of potassium in your body by adding these foods in your diet: bananas, mangoes, potatoes, raisins, prunes and kiwis.
The thyroid gland regulates a wide range of vital functions of human body. Any disturbance in the thyroid hormones affects your body including your bowel movements. When the system of body becomes slow, it takes longer for digestive contents to be reabsorbed by the colon which results in decreased frequency of stools and hard stools. That is the reason; the doctor checks your Thyroid deficiency and recommends the treatment accordingly.
Constipation can be a side effect of taking certain antidepressants such as Prozac (fluoxetine) but it can also be associated with older tricyclic antidepressants (TCL) such as Elavil (amitriptyline). These TCL can pull water out of your colon causing harder stools creating difficulty to pass. If you are taking antidepressants so these might be the cause of constipation and so you need to consult the doctor for a gentle stool softener.
Overuse of Laxatives:
Some laxatives stimulate the bowel activity but such stimulant laxatives if taken for a long time period lead to the dependency of your body on them which means that you body will not function properly without them, leading to more constipation. So, it is recommended to take laxatives as per the doctor’s prescription.
Antacids are recommended to treat heartburn but some of them can cause constipation especially those containing calcium and aluminum. You can avoid eating those foods causing heartburn such as fatty foods and increase fiber intake. It will also help in preventing both conditions: heartburn and constipation.
Bad Bathroom Habits:
Some people delay their bowel movement due to several reasons but this delaying can cause constipation. The body’ natural sensors, which tell you it’s your toilet time, can go out of control and the muscles become confused which results in hard stools. So, if you want to prevent this problem then make sure not to delay an urge for bowel movement.
Blood Pressure & Allergy Medicines:
Constipation may be a side effect of some common medicines used to treat high blood pressure, which includes diuretics and calcium channel blockers. The diuretics lower the blood pressure by increasing the urine which reduces water from your body, which is necessary to keep stools soft. Antihistamines which are used to treat allergies can also be the cause of the problem.
When to consult GI Endoscopy Practice specialists?
If you’re experiencing the problem of constipation that isn’t relieving with the suggested dietary changes and lifestyle modifications and if the symptoms are becoming more severe, it is highly recommended to consult GI Endoscopy Practice gastroenterologists because they can better advise you a proper and effective treatment plan. They are experienced, trained and highly capable in treating patients having GI system problems.