8 Things That Could Be Causing Your Constipation—and How to Feel Better

Asia's Tech News Daily

If you’re prone to constipation, you’re not alone. About 63 million people in the United States experience the condition, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), which defines it as having less than three bowel movements a week. And it can be downright uncomfortable, to say the very least. But why are you so constipated? There are myriad common causes of constipation, which range in type and severity. To help pinpoint what’s potentially going on, we tapped experts to learn about the most common causes, plus what to do to help constipation.

8 Things That Could Be Causing Your Constipation—and How to Feel Better
© Provided by Real Simple Getty Images
8 Things That Could Be Causing Your Constipation—and How to Feel Better
© Getty Images Try these at-home remedies for unwanted tummy issues.

RELATED: Why Is Everyone So Bloated Right Now? (Plus, How to Solve It)

Common Causes of Constipation

Low Fiber Intake

Your constipation may be due to a low intake of fiber. According to Marissa Meshulam, MS, RD, CDN, registered dietitian and founder of MPM Nutrition, dietary fiber adds bulk to the stool, making it easier to pass. “Additionally, [insoluble] fiber can work to speed up digestion, which helps move things along,” she adds. However, a diet without adequate fiber will have the opposite effect, making movements irregular and hard-to-pass.

RELATED: 6 Types of Fruit That Are Loaded With Fiber—Plus, Delicious Ways to Eat More of Them

Dehydration

Hydration, like fiber, is key for healthy digestion. “Our stool is formed in the large intestine, [where] water is reabsorbed,” Meshulam explains. But if you’re not drinking enough liquids throughout the day, there won’t be enough water in your large intestine to make going to the bathroom natural and easy.

Traveling

When your daily schedule is thrown for a loop, you may experience constipation. “Your gut gets into a routine based on the food you eat [and] schedule you keep,” says Bryan Curtin, MD, MHSc, gastroenterologist at the Institute for Digestive Health and Liver Disease at Mercy Medical Center. “[But] when you travel, these things dramatically change, which has a profound effect on how your gut works.” This can lead to constipation and/or diarrhea, he says, which should resolve once you’re back to your usual routine.

Lack of Physical Activity

“Good muscle tone, particularly in the abdominal wall and diaphragm, is necessary for regular bowel movements,” says Casey Kelley, MD, ABoIM, founder and medical director of Case Integrative Health. This can be achieved via regular exercise and staying active throughout the day. On the other hand, a sedentary lifestyle can weaken the abdominal wall and diaphragm, making it difficult for the large intestine to properly regulate bowel movements.

Stress

According to Dr. Kelley, stress can contribute to constipation by causing the body to release a hormone called epinephrine. This hormone, responsible for the “fight or flight” response, redirects blood flow from the intestine to more vital organs, like the heart, lungs, and brain. “The lack of blood flow [in the intestine] thus slows down the [digestive] process,” she says.

Emotional and mental stress can also make the body release more corticotrophin-releasing factor (CRF), another hormone. “This hormone can slow down intestinal movements,” ultimately causing constipation, notes Dr. Kelley.

Hormonal Changes

Just about every bodily function is controlled by hormones, and bowel movements are no exception. That said, it’s common for hormonal fluctuations to cause bouts of constipation. A common example is the spike in estrogen—the female reproductive hormone—that happens before menstruation. “High levels of estrogen can delay gastric emptying, leading to constipation,” explains Dr. Kelley. Low estrogen levels, which happens during menopause, can have a similar effect. “As estrogen levels decline in menopause, cortisol levels rise, which slow down the digestive process,” she says. Constipation may also be linked to hormonal changes related to pregnancy or hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid).

RELATED: 6 Reasons Why You Might Be Getting Night Sweats—and What You Can Do to Combat Them

Certain Medications

Certain medications might explain why you’re so constipated. “Some, like opioids, slow the motility of the gastrointestinal system, which leads to constipation,” says Dr. Curtin. Taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like ibuprofen and naproxen, is another common cause, as these drugs can damage the protective barrier of the gut. Iron supplements—which are taken for anemia—and psychiatric medications can also slow down the gut, resulting in constipation, adds Dr. Curtin.

Ignoring the Urge to Go

Whether you’re away from home or busy with work, it can be tempting to ignore nature’s calls. However, doing so can lead to constipation or worsen existing symptoms. “When you don’t go to the bathroom, it sits in the large intestine,” explains Meshulam. “Water continues to be absorbed from it, making it harder to pass.”

Home Remedies for Constipation

Constipation may be uncomfortable, but it’s possible to reduce the strain by adopting certain healthy habits. Try these helpful home remedies to get things moving again.

Stay Well Hydrated

As mentioned, dehydration can seriously contribute to constipation. But drinking plenty of fluids throughout the day can help prevent this, says Meshulam. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends a daily fluid intake of 12.5 cups for men and 9 cups women.

RELATED: Hydration Is Essential, but Can You Drink Too Much Water?

Stay Active

If you often sit for hours on end, try incorporating movement into your schedule. This could be as simple as regular stretching or short walks around the block. Daily movement will keep your abdominal muscles strong, thus improving your bowel movements. As Dr. Curtin notes, “the more you move, the more your gut will move!”

RELATED: 5 Helpful Yoga Poses for a Happier Gut

Eat Enough Fiber

There’s a good chance fiber is the answer to your digestive woes. After all, according to the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, only 5 percent of the population eats enough fiber. (The daily recommended intake is 38 grams for men and 25 grams for women, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.) To help you meet the mark, Meshulam recommends reaching for high-fiber foods like:

  • berries
  • artichokes
  • broccoli
  • chia seeds
  • flax seeds

Fruits with sorbitol, a natural laxative, can also get things moving. According to Meshulam, this includes fruits like:

  • prunes
  • apples
  • pears

Limit Processed and Fried Foods

Meshulam notes that processed and fried foods (think: microwave meals and deli meats) are lacking in fiber. So consuming a lot of these foods can reduce your fiber intake, further contributing to constipation. This doesn’t mean you need to totally ditch these foods. Simply reaching for whole, non-processed foods more often than not can ensure you get more fiber.

RELATED: What Does Eating a Balanced Diet Actually Mean? Breaking Down the ‘Good’ to ‘Bad’ Diet Ratio

When to See a Doctor About Your Constipation

It’s important to note the constipation may indicate a more serious gastrointestinal disorder—a condition that affects the function of your intestines.

One of the most common causes is irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), says Meshulam. According to the NIDDK, IBS doesn’t cause damage to your GI tract, but it can cause unpleasant symptoms like constipation and stomach pain. And while the exact cause of IBS is unknown, stress may be a factor, according to Dr. Curtin. Another possible constipation cause is diverticulitis, says Dr. Kelley, which involves inflammation of diverticula, or small bulges that develop in the wall of the large intestine. “Over time, this inflammation can lead to a bowel obstruction, which may cause constipation,” she explains.

If your constipation lasts for several days to a week, or if it doesn’t respond to home remedies, it might be time to call your doctor, Dr. Kelley suggests. Do keep in mind that frequency and need to go are different for everyone; what’s normal for one person might not be normal for you, she adds. Your best bet is to recognize what’s “normal” for you and chat with your doctor if anything changes.

RELATED: What to Eat—and What to Avoid—If You Struggle With Acid Reflux, Heartburn, or Indigestion

Internet Explorer Channel Network
Asia's Tech News Daily
News Related

OTHER NEWS

How to unlock the Tropical Soda Islands and what it does in Cookie Run Kingdom

© Provided by GamePur In Cookie Run Kingdom, there’s a very helpful mode called Tropical Soda Islands. This mode can earn you a steady stream of items. However, it isn’t ... Read more »

Patrick Vieira outlines Ralf Rangnick impact during Manchester United victory

Patrick Vieira has revealed that the appointment of Ralf Rangnick had a major impact on how Crystal Palace approached their Premier League game with Manchester United. Having finally been granted ... Read more »

Speaker voices ‘deep concern' at reports of drug-taking in Parliament

Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle is to raise reports of drug misuse in Parliament with the police “as a priority”. © House of Commons Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle has ... Read more »

Overwatch fan creates Workshop mode to visualize the range of every ability

© Provided by Dot Esports Every Overwatch player has uttered the words, “there’s no way I was in range of that.” One fan decided enough was enough, so they went ... Read more »

Mikel Arteta to show no mercy on under-fire Rafa Benitez and former club Everton

Mikel Arteta admits he can show no mercy towards under-fire Rafa Benitez – but insists he has the quality and experience to turn things around. Arteta had six years at ... Read more »

A restaurant dedicated to Brussels sprouts is opening next week in London

© Provided by Metro The controversial vegetable is getting a makeover by tastecard this Christmas. (Photo: tastecard) Christmas is a time of celebration and eating, but sometimes we don’t quite ... Read more »

Minnesota set to play West Virginia in Guaranteed Rate Bowl

Minnesota (8-4, Big Ten) vs. West Virginia (6-6, Big 12), Dec. 28, 10:15 p.m. ET LOCATION: Phoenix TOP PLAYERS Minnesota: LB Jack Gibbens, team-leading 86 tackles, 4 1/2 tackles-for-loss, three ... Read more »

Quebec introduces $52 million in new funding to tackle gun violence and crime

MONTREAL — Quebec announced $52 million in new funding geared towards the province’s youth on Sunday in a bid to stem a rising tide of gun violence and crime.  © ... Read more »

Victoria's Secret model Kelly Gale shows of phenomenal figure in orange bikini

KELLY Gale goes down a storm in a tropical bikini shoot. The Victoria’s Secret model and actress, 26, also put on a showstopping look for her boyfriend’s birthday last week. ... Read more »

Anne Frank memorial: Vandals defaced tunnels near Idaho site with anti-Semitic graffiti

As millions of Jewish people across the country celebrate Hanukkah, police say vandals painted anti-Semitic messages and symbols in tunnels near Idaho’s Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial on Friday. © ... Read more »

Majority of daters feel burnout from seeing incompatible people

© Provided by Metro 78% of daters feel stressed from constant incompatible dates (Picture: Getty) A seldom acknowledged truth: dating is tiring. Sure, it can be fun – but that ... Read more »

Sorting the real from the rubbish and challenging those who stir the Omicron pot of fear

This week we provide tips to help you sort the real from the rubbish when looking for more detailed information online. We also take a look at some of the ... Read more »

Shooting on north side leaves one dead, one injured

One person was killed and another injured after a shooting Sunday afternoon on the city's north side. Indianapolis police located the two victims, both after responding to a report of ... Read more »

Hamilton tops podium for third straight race in chaotic Saudi Arabian GP

Lewis Hamilton passed Max Verstappen with six laps remaining Sunday to win the chaotic inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix and pull even on points with his rival as Formula One’s ... Read more »

Yogi slams Akhilesh: Entire UP is my family, you only care for yours

© Provided by The Indian Express Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Sunday responded to SP chief Akhilesh Yadav’s jibe that those without family do not care for people, ... Read more »

Dying Columbia student cried for help after being stabbed by reputed gangbanger

Vincent Pinkney, who has a lengthy rap sheet, also threatened a couple walking their dog before police nabbed him. DANIEL WILLIAM MCKNIGHT A Columbia University grad student stabbed to death ... Read more »

I'm A Celebrity fans slam ‘ageism' as Arlene Phillips, 78, is first out after public vote

I'M A Celeb said goodbye to its first star tonight – as Arlene Phillips was given the boot from the TV castle. Ant McPartlin and Dec Donnelly revealed the former ... Read more »

Kylian Mbappe says he's "going to play for big club" in latest transfer declaration

Kylian Mbappe had declared that he is “going to play for a big club” in his latest statement surrounding his immediate future. The Frenchman is fast approaching the end of ... Read more »

Brit, 18, savaged by crocodile says she ‘went into overdrive' to escape its jaws in first interview from hospital

A BRIT teen left fighting for life after a monster crocodile attacked her in Zambia has revealed how instinct took over and she went into “overdrive” to fight off the ... Read more »

NYCFC outlasts Union 2-1 to reach 1st MLS Cup final

CHESTER, Pa. (AP) — Talles Magno scored in the 88th minute to send New York City FC into the MLS Cup final with a 2-1 win over the COVID-19-restriction-ravaged Philadelphia ... Read more »

Starmer calls for ‘national effort' to roll out Covid booster jabs

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has called for a “renewed national effort” to step up delivery of the Covid-19 booster jab. Sir Keir, who gets his third dose of the ... Read more »

Trump official Jeffrey Clark postpones deposition with Capitol riot committee due to ‘medical issue'

© AP Jeffrey Clark speaking at a Justice Department press conference in Washington in October 2020 – AP A Donald Trump official accused of trying to overturn the 2020 presidential ... Read more »

Pope condemns Europe's treatment of migrants during visit to Greek refugee camp

© VATICAN MEDIA/AFP via Getty Imag pope francis greece refugees.jpg Pope Francis condemned Europe’s “indifference” towards migrants and refugees on his first visit to Greece. Visiting the Mavrovouni refugee camp ... Read more »

Tipster who led cops to parents of Michigan school shooter could get $20K reward

Detroit Police Chief James White says he’s “happy” to award the anonymous person who helped tipped off the whereabouts of Jennifer and James Crumbley. REUTERS/Seth Herald The anonymous tipster who ... Read more »

Pourchaire "fine" after Jeddah F2 startline crash

© Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images Theo Pourchaire, ART Grand Prix The ART Grand Prix driver stalled on the grid in Sunday’s race and was then collected by an unsighted ... Read more »

Kerala HC sends notice to Centre over Renjith Maheshwary's Arjuna Award petition

Olympian Renjith Maheshwary’s petition challenging a press release issued by the secretary of the Department of Sports rescinding the Arjuna award conferred to him in 2013 has been admitted in ... Read more »

Steve Nash thinks Eastern Conference is as deep as ever

The two best records in the NBA belong to Western Conference powers Golden State and Phoenix, but Steve Nash believes the East is as deep as it has been in ... Read more »

Ex-Liverpool ace gets himself 'deliberately booked' to serve suspension whilst injured

Former Liverpool striker Iago Aspas went viral after some quick-thinking ensured the Spaniard will serve a suspension whilst he’s sidelined with an injury. Aspas currently plays in Spain for Celta ... Read more »

UCLA, No. 18 NC State to meet in Holiday Bowl at Petco Park

UCLA (8-4, Pac-12) vs No. 18 NC State (9-3, ACC), Dec. 28, 8 p.m. ET. LOCATION: San Diego. TOP PLAYERS UCLA: QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson became the sixth Bruins player to ... Read more »

Mit Sène im richtigen Fahrwasser

Der 20-jährige Stürmer hat mit drei Toren entscheidenden Anteil am 4:0 der Grasshoppers in St. Gallen – der Gegner schwächt sich früh mit einem Platzverweis gleich selbst. © Bereitgestellt von ... Read more »

Hamilton siegt in Saudi-Arabien und schliesst zu Verstappen auf

© KEYSTONE/AP/Hassan Ammar Lewis Hamilton gewinnt den ersten Grand Prix von Saudi-Arabien. Der Titelverteidiger im Mercedes verweist seinen WM-Rivalen Max Verstappen im Red Bull nach einem verrückten Duell auf Platz ... Read more »

Georgia's Kirby Smart has looming QB decision to make for CFP semifinal

Kirby Smart’s quarterback decision is among the storylines for the CFP semifinals. Brett Davis/USA TODAY Sports; Dale Zanine/USA TODAY Sports; Getty Images All eyes will be on Kirby Smart. His ... Read more »

Kate Garraway fans in tears as her ‘proud' children Darcey, 15, and Billy, 12, pay moving tribute to incredible mum

KATE Garraway fans were left in tears after her proud children Darcey and Billy paid a moving tribute to their incredible mum on Piers Morgan Life Stories tonight. During her ... Read more »

Davis scores 23, North Carolina pulls away from Georgia Tech

ATLANTA (AP) — RJ Davis scored 13 of his game-high 23 points in the second half Sunday afternoon as North Carolina pulled away in the second half to defeat Georgia ... Read more »

Man stabbed at Kewalo Basin

Dec. 5—Emergency Medical Services responded at 6 p.m. to an apparent stabbing at a park in the Kewalo Basin area. EMS personnel found a man, possibly in his 50s, who ... Read more »

Pregnant Sam Faiers stuns in a glittering dress as she throws jaw-dropping early Christmas party

PREGNANT Sam Faiers dazzled in a glittering dress as she hosted a jaw-dropping Christmas party. The 30-year-old looked glamorous in a black net and sequin embellished dress with frilly detail. ... Read more »

Fresh heartache for The Queen as her close friend and confidante the Duchess of Grafton dies months after Prince Philip

THE Queen is in mourning after one of her closest confidantes and friends died on Friday – mere months following Prince Philip's death. Ann Fortune FitzRoy, the Duchess of Grafton, ... Read more »

No. 21 Houston faces SEC's Auburn in Birmingham Bowl

No. 21 Houston (11-2, American) vs Auburn (6-6, SEC), Dec. 28, 12 p.m. ET LOCATION: Birmingham, Alabama TOP PLAYERS Auburn: CB Roger McCreary is a potential first-round NFL draft pick. ... Read more »

Covid: figures reveal extent of vaccine disparity in England

Photograph: Ian Forsyth/Getty Images Children in some parts of England are three times more likely to be vaccinated than others, figures from the House of Commons library show, prompting Bridget ... Read more »

Soccer-Juventus ease past Genoa as Allegri celebrates landmark win

© Reuters/MASSIMO PINCA Serie A – Juventus v Genoa TURIN, Italy (Reuters) – Juan Cuadrado scored directly from a corner as Juventus comfortably beat struggling Genoa 2-0 on Sunday to ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic