Constipation can decrease a person’s bowel movements and limit the number to less than three times a week.
Although the condition is prevalent among people of all age groups, its long term persistence can affect their daily life. In such a case scenario, the situation can become chronic and require proper management.
Additionally, if not treated, chronic constipation can also result in health hazards or complications, leading to pain or discomfort. To discuss the same, this article will be talking about the health hazards of constipation with their precautionary measures so that the situation can be prevented.
Symptoms of Constipation
Constipation can be either acute or chronic. The symptoms of the condition depend on its severity. You may have a chronic disease if you experience more than one of the following symptoms. Given below are signs that can appear in case of constipation
- Lesser Stool passing
- Applying more pressure while passing stool
- Hard stools
- Rectum blockage
- Unsatisfied after a bowel movement
- Needing help to pass stool
Causes of Constipation
The slow movement of waste or stools within the digestive system can lead to constipation. This can turn the stool hard, and it becomes challenging to eliminate from the body. Likewise, there are many other causes related to constipation. We have listed some of them below:
- Neurological problems in the Colon/Rectum
- Pelvic muscle issues
- Hormonal imbalance
- Colon or rectum blockage
Health Hazards and Complications of Constipation
Constipation can be caused by many reasons. Be it any colon/rectum blockages or medications for other things such as allergy decongestants; the list can be endless. However, upon becoming chronic, the disease can lead to certain complications. We have listed some of them below.
Chronic constipation can result in inflammation and swelling of veins in the rectum or anus. That’s because when a person gets constipated, they put on high strain while passing stool, resulting in swelling or inflammation. If untreated, it can cause bleeding or discomfort within such areas. Somebody suffering from this can use Witch Hazel for treatment.
Constipation can cause hard or large stools that get difficult to pass. When applying extreme pressure, the mucosa or tissue lining of the anus can tear mildly. The condition is known as an anal fissure. An anal fissure may result in pain, bleeding, or spasms within the anal sphincter.
Applying too much pressure on the anus to pass stool can result in Rectal Prolapse. It is a condition where a portion of the large intestine moves outside the anus. It may feel like a bulge in the anus with pain, bleeding, and discomfort accordingly.
When a person stays constipated for a significant period, the stool gets collected within the rectum or colon. This may result in Fecal Impaction. It is a condition where the stool gets stuck within the intestine and, thus, can’t be eliminated from the body.
Risk Factors for Constipation
While anyone can be affected by constipation, certain people fall under the risk group. Here are some of the risk factors listed below:
- Senior age group
- Low fiber diet
- Medications and Antidepressants
- Depression/Eating disorder
People must consult a medical professional before including any changes within their daily lifestyle.
Preventive Measures For Constipation
Regardless of the health hazards related to the disease, the conditions leading to chronic constipation can be prevented by following some healthy lifestyle changes and habits. These are some of the preventive measures listed below for constipation relief.
Increase Water Intake
Including more fluids and water in the diet can prevent constipation. This is because constipation dehydrates the colon. Thus, to combat the condition, it is vital to increase water intake.
Doing so will keep the stool firm and make it easy to eliminate. Make sure to drink eight glasses of water per day and avoid caffeinated drinks.
Eat fiber Rich Food
Adding more fiber to the diet can enhance the insides of the gut. Including dietary fiber like oats, rice bran, barley, apples, strawberries, and citrus fruits can help in constipation as well. You should avoid foods that are not fiber-rich or low in fiber.
Besides, red meat, alcohol, food with gluten, fast food, fried food, dairy products, etc. should be avoided. However, fruits like apples, watermelon, and pears can lead to gastritis. Thus, people with bowel issues can avoid it.
Constipation can also be prevented by staying active and exercising regularly. It lessens the total time required by the food to move within the large intestine. This would further lessen the total amount of water that is absorbed by the stool. Thus, you can try including aerobic exercise in your day to day life.
Do Not Delay the Urge to Passing Stool
No matter what, if you feel like passing stool, do not ignore it. That’s because avoiding it can result in significant intestinal issues like stool buildup resulting in its blockage. Thus, make sure to go whenever you feel like it.
Say No To Stress
Keeping your mind at peace and avoiding stress can also prevent constipation. Stress hormones can influence the body. Besides, lifestyle changes due to stress like dehydration, inactivity, and diet can result in the condition as well. Thus, try to keep stress at bay in your daily life.
Treatment of Constipation
It is important to note that if the condition does not stabilize after following the measures, then your doctor may prescribe stool softeners and laxatives for it. During oral consumption, these medications may help to soften the stool so that it can be passed without any difficulty.
However, if you are experiencing bloating, severe or constant abdominal pain, or can’t pass stool, then inform your doctor immediately. Do not self-medicate yourself in any circumstance. Always consult a doctor before you take any medication or supplements for any condition.
These were some of the risks and preventive tips for people suffering from constipation. Implementation of these daily life changes can help in numerous conditions that also include constipation.
However, if you note any unusual symptoms or discomfort, you should immediately inform your doctor. With proper therapy and medications, your doctor can help you with the condition in an efficient manner.