You are constipated when your bowel movement is less than normal or when the fecal matter is tougher than normal. Almost everyone experience constipation at least in some point of their life.
It is true that it is not a serious condition. But, you will feel better only when your body is back to the normal routine. It is true that the gap between bowel movements is different from one person to another. Some people have it for three times a day, while for some it happens once in two days.
Generally, when the gap between bowel movement goes longer than 3 days or more, it is a sign of constipation. The reason is that after three days, the stool turns out to be hard. So, it will be difficult to pass.
Constipation generally occurs when the colon absorbs very little water. This happens when the muscles in the colon contract poorly or slowly. This makes the stool to move slowly, but it will lose more water, thereby making it hard to pass. The good thing is that there are home remedies for constipation that will help if you feel you are constipated.
What causes constipation?
In general, constipation occurs due to different reasons. Let us explore some reasons here so that you can avoid some of them:
Inadequate fiber content in your diet:
When you include more of fiber-rich content in your diet, you have significantly lesser chances of being constipated. So, include more of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables in your diet. It is better to keep away from high-fat and low-fiber foods like eggs, meat and cheese if you are constipated.
Lack of physical activities:
If you have lesser physical activities, the chances of constipation are more. This happens, particularly in older adults. This is why people, who are bedridden for long, are constipated. Even though the reason for this is not known, experts believe that physical activity will help with keeping the metabolism high, thereby avoiding constipation.
Generally, we see that older adults have a more sedentary lifestyle as compared to younger people. So, they are at higher risk of being constipated.
Certain medications can also lead to constipation and they are pain drugs, antidepressant drugs, anticonvulsants, and calcium channel blocking drugs. Further, aluminum-containing antacids and also diuretics can lead to constipation.
Milk and dairy products:
Some people get constipated when they increase their milk or dairy product consumption.
Individuals with Irritable Bowel Syndrome are known to have greater chances of getting constipated as compared to others.
Pregnancy brings hormonal changes in the body of a woman. So, carrying moms have a greater chance of constipation. Further, the uterus also compresses the intestine when it grows with the growth of the baby, thereby slowing down the passage of food.
When we get older, the metabolism will naturally slow down, thereby resulting in lesser intestinal activity. Also, with age the muscles in the digestive tract also show a slower functioning, thereby leading to constipation.
Changes in routine:
When there are changes in your routine like the time you go to bed daily or the time at which you take the meal, there are chances of constipation.
Overuse of laxatives:
Some people believe that we should go to the toilet once in a day. With this thought, they self-medicate themselves with laxatives. It is true that laxatives are effective in helping with bowel movements. But, using them on a regular basis permits the body to get used to the action. Also, laxatives can be habit-forming. Those using laxatives for a longer time will get constipated when they stop using the laxative.
Not attending the nature’s calls?
Not attending the nature’s call is one of the biggest mistakes done by the humans. When you feel like evacuating, just do it immediately and never postpone. When you continuously postpone the nature’s calls, you are more likely to be constipated.
In addition to these factors, not consuming enough water and also problems with rectum or colon can lead to constipation.