Do you experience difficulty or have to push harder when passing stool? Is your bowel movement extremely painful? Do you constantly feel like you haven’t fully emptied your bowels?
We hate to break it to you, but you might be constipated. Worldwide, approximately 12% of people have self-defined constipation. It affects a significant amount of the population, yet many people are still unaware of it.
This blog will talk about constipation, its causes, symptoms, and how you can treat it.
What Is Constipation?
Some common symptoms of constipation include infrequent and uncomfortable bowel movements. Although bowel movements vary from person to person but medically, if it’s less than 3 times a week, you’re diagnosed with constipation.
What Are The Symptoms of Constipation?
The symptoms vary from person to person. But following are a few common symptoms to look out for:
- You pass stool less than three times a week
- You feel bloated and nauseous
- Your bowel movements are difficult and painful
- You feel constantly sluggish
- You experience frequent abdominal pain
- You feel as if your rectum is blocked and preventing your bowel movements
- Your stools are dry, hard, pebble-like, and lumpy
- You need help to empty your rectum, such as using a finger to remove stool from your rectum or using your hands to press on your abdomen
- You feel your bowels aren’t emptied after a movement
If you’ve had two or more of these symptoms in the last three months, you may have chronic constipation.
Constipation is inconvenient, but it’s not life-threatening. However, if not treated at the right time, it might worsen, leading to serious health issues like:
- Colorectal cancer
- Rectal bleeding
- Anal fissure, a small tear around the anus
- Hemorrhoids (piles) caused by swelling and inflammation of blood vessels in the anus
- Fecal impaction caused by the buildup of dried stool in your anus and rectum, leading to a mechanical obstruction
What Causes Constipation?
Constipation can be caused by multiple factors, including your medical conditions, lifestyle choices, diet, and pregnancy.
A few common lifestyle choices that can cause constipation include:
- Not exercising enough
- Less intake of water leading to dehydration
- Consuming foods low in fiber
- Sudden changes in your routine, such as changes in your sleeping schedule due to traveling
- Stress, depression, and anxiety
- Excess consumption of dairy products such as cheese and milk
- Resisting the urge to have a bowel movement
Medical and health conditions that can lead to constipation include:
- Endocrinal problems, like underactive thyroid gland known as hypothyroidism
- Colorectal cancer
- Outlet dysfunction constipation: A defect in the pelvic muscles that help release stool.
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Spinal cord injury
- Neurologic disorders such as stroke, Parkinson’s disease, or multiple sclerosis
- Structural defects in the digestive tract
- Lazy bowel syndrome: Your colon contracts poorly and retains stool.
How to Treat Constipation?
You can treat mild to moderate constipation at home with a bit of self-care. It begins with a review of what you eat and drink, followed by a few modifications.
Here are some suggestions to help relieve your constipation:
- Increase your water intake. On average, drink two to four extra glasses of water every day.
- Avoid alcohol and caffeine drinks.
- Increase vegetable, fruits, and other high-fiber foods consumption to help with your bowel movements and lubrication of your tract.
- Consume dairy products in controlled proportion as they can constipate you. It’s best to find alternates for it. For example, you can substitute your regular milk with almond milk.
- Get moving and exercise regularly.
- Your posture when you sit on the toilet seat is very crucial. You must ensure you’re sitting properly. Raise your feet and lean back. You can also take a squatting position on your toilet seat. That’ll help make bowel movement easier.
- Add an over-the-counter supplemental fiber to your diet. Dietary supplements make up for the deficiencies much faster than routine changes in your diet and lifestyle.
- You can also opt for over-the-counter laxatives and stool softeners. Don’t overuse them as it can worsen your situation.
We also have low-cost dietary supplement products to make up for your fiber intake. You can also order our stool softener capsules to make bowel movements less painful and strenuous by softening your feces.
Contact us to make your visits to the toilet less painful.