First of all, let us talk about constipation.
What is Constipation?
Constipation has happened almost to everyone. This occurs when bowel movement does not happen more frequently and when the stools are having a hard time passing. Constipation naturally happens when there’s a change in a diet and routine or even sometimes it happens due to consuming fewer fibers. Fibers are nutrients that help regulate bowel movement.
Call for immediate help or seek a doctor’s advice when constipation lasts longer for up to three weeks, or when constipation becomes unbearable because you might feel severe pain or see blood in your stool.
Surprising Signs of Constipation
1. Fewer Bowel Movements
According to researchers, regular bowel movements or three times a week is normal. They have indicated though that bowel movements might differ from person to person. Some might have bowel movements multiple times a day and others might have bowel movements once or twice a week. If a bowel movement doesn’t happen for too long, problems may occur.
2. Stools Are Hard to Pass
Taking laxatives will help you to pass stool easily. But if you frequently use laxatives, the risk of having fecal impactions might happen. Fecal impaction is hard and a huge amount of stool. When this is formed on your inside, it will be stuck in your rectum or colon and when this happens, you will have a hard time pushing the stool out.
3. Even If You Defecate, You Feel Like There’s More
This is also a sign of constipation, the feeling of not pushing your entire stool out even if you did.
According to Lee, the more your stool stays in your colon; the more the bacteria will ferment what’s in there which leads to bloating. He also added that you will feel gassier inside you which leads to bloating.
Another symptom of constipation is when you feel nauseous. The stool builds up in your intestine which leads to a feeling of nausea. When the stool builds up, your gut will be affected and this causes nausea as well.
6. Stomach Aches and Cramps
Similar to bloating, when stool builds up in your abdomen, it also builds up gas which causes stomach aches and cramps.
Is Constipation Common?
In the United States alone, more than 2.5 million people experienced constipation. This means that constipation is the most common digestive problem in America.
Who Is Commonly Affected by Constipation?
Unfortunately, constipation may target all individuals regardless of their age. Even a baby may experience constipation. Based on the survey, in the United Kingdom, the number of people who experienced constipation has been estimated as 2 in every 9 adults and 2 in every 5 children.
Women may experience constipation more compared to men. And it also commonly occurs during pregnancy. This is due to the increase of progesterone hormone. This hormone relaxes the muscles in your body including your intestine. These happenings lead to slower bowel movements that lead to constipation.
What Are the Levels of Constipation?
We have three levels – or more commonly used terms are main types – of constipation;
Normal – Transit Constipation
- This is the most common subtype of constipation. It’s a patient self-report but bowel movements are normal in your colon. A common symptom includes bloating and abdominal pain.
Slow – Transit Constipation
- This type of constipation commonly occurs in women. There are 15 – 30% reported patients connected to constipation.
Pelvic Floor Dysfunctions
- There is a poor connection between the anal sphincter and pelvic floor.
What are the Other Types of Illnesses You Can Acquire if You Have Constipation?
The most common other symptoms you can get are hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids can also cause but not limited to;
- Bleeding of your anus
- You will feel pain in your anus
- Itching around your anus
How Do You Relieve Constipation?
These are some of the most common things to do to relieve constipation:
- Drinking lots of water will help regulate your bowel movement.
- More fiber. Consume foods that are rich in fiber such as fruits, whole grains, and peanuts.
- Exercise. This is one of the most effective ways to relieve constipation.
- Drink caffeinated coffee. Caffeine will help stimulate the muscles in the digestive system causing proper movements of bowel or stool.
Constipation is common, but they can get worse. Although it is not a life-threatening condition, it can greatly affect your everyday living as it can cause pain and discomfort. You will constantly feel uncomfortable as well. If constipation becomes chronic, seek the help of a doctor. There are medications that you can take. You can also make use of natural remedies.