Before going directly into the causes of constipation let us discuss something regarding what constipation is and what are the body changes felt if someone is suffering from this annoying problem.
If we start a survey then I think it would be very hard to find a person who hasn’t gone through a tough phase of constipation especially in today’s era where people usually go easy on their diet and daily habits. Constipation suffers are mostly women and adults but aren’t restricted to them only. It can be acute i.e. of sudden onset and only for a short period of time or it can be long-standing chronic constipation.
Related: Constipation During Pregnancy
Constipation is difficulty in the passing of feces. Normally, if you aren’t passing stools for three days then they usually become hard and after three days it becomes very difficult to pass them and this leads to constipation. So, if you are experiencing only two bowel movements in a week then you are said to be suffering from constipation.
Now, let us discuss some common causes of constipation.
Causes of constipation
Diet low in fibers: This is the most common cause of constipation. Taking diet low in fibers, consuming less of water, irregular meal timings, not involving in exercises, and snacking fast food are the major causes of constipation.
Underactive thyroid gland or hypothyroidism: Underactive thyroid gland means that the normal metabolic rate of the body is reduced and so is the activity of the gut wall. Due to hypothyroidism, there are limited bowel movements leading to retention of stools in the body.
Constipation due to medications: Medicines are safe and effective only if taken under the prescribed amount and dosage. Above that, they are detrimental to the health and may lead to many digestive tract problems and one of them is constipation. Drugs causing Constipation are painkillers like aspirin and ibuprofen.
Also, antidepressants like fluoxetine and amitriptyline also lead to constipation.
Some medications like anti-hypertensive and anti-histamines are known to cause constipation.
Overuse of laxatives: Though laxatives are known to relieve constipation their over-usage leads to dependence and thus they might work as intended next time when you encounter constipation.
Excess consumption of dairy products: Consumption of a diet high in fats, cheese, eggs, meat, etc. slows down bowel movements and leads to constipation. So, limit the intake of dairy products and take a diet high in fibers.
No physical activity: Though it is not the major cause of constipation it has been seen that people leading a sedentary lifestyle fell prey to constipation.
Depression: Similar to hypothyroidism, depression slows down the body’s metabolism thereby leading to constipation and poor bowel movements.
Intestinal dysfunction: Intestinal tract problems like pelvic floor dysfunction, irritable bowel syndrome, and anorectal dysfunction lead to constipation.
Pregnancy: During pregnancy, the intestinal muscles are pressed by the growing uterus that might interfere with normal bowel movements.
Other causes of constipation are:
- Loss of salts from the body
- Any injury to the spinal cord leading to injury of nerves
- Ignoring the urge to pass stools