why am i constipated? what should i do about constipation?

approximately 80 percent of the population experiences constipation at some point in their lifetime. Constipation is defined as difficulty or infrequent bowel movements.
Constipation is common and it affects people of all ages. You can usually treat it at home with simple changes to your diet and lifestyle.
symptoms of constipation are not being able to poo at least 3 times a week, having large dry and lumpy excrement, Feeling as though you can’t completely empty the stool from your rectum, Needing help to empty your rectum, such as using your hands to press on your abdomen and using a finger to remove stool from your rectum, stomach ache and feeling bloated and painful.
Short bouts of constipation are normal, but if your symptoms have been present for three months or more, it’s considered chronic. With chronic constipation, you might experience bladder dysfunction, gas with bloating or pain in your pelvis, abdomen, lower back, or hips. These symptoms can lead to decreased interest in social activities, increased time in the restroom, and stress. Your body needs to have a synergy to work properly.
According to a review article published in March 2017 in the journal Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, exercise can increase gut microbial diversity and encourage beneficial microbes to flourish. In particular, exercise promotes a beneficial balance between populations of two gut microbe groups: the genus Bacteroides and the phylum Firmicutes. Imbalances between these groups have been linked to certain GI disorders and obesity, the review authors wrote.
In athletes of all stripes, there’s a positive effect where the microbiota appears to change in a way that makes it more diverse, and there’s also an increased representation of microbes that harvest energy from the diet.

what causes Constipation?

bad eating habits and lack of physical activity are the most common causes of constipation, so it’s a good idea to rule these out first before looking into other causes. also not eating enough fibre(such as fruit, vegetables and cereals) or not drinking enough fluids or just changing your diet or daily routine and too much alcohol or caffeine can be the causes. Eating a lot of dairy products can contribute to constipation as well. Problems with the nerves and muscles in your digestive system, ignoring the urge to go to the toilet and some medicines can also make you constipated. Overuse of laxatives and Pregnancy can also be the reason for constipation. needless to say stress, anxiety or depression are a big factor in a lot of physical disorders and ailments like constipation.
also there are minor causes which may worsen your digestive system and result in constipation like hypercalcemia(or too much calcium in your bloodstream), multiple sclerosis(a condition that affects your nervous system), Parkinson’s disease(a condition where part of your brain becomes progressively damaged), bowel obstruction, bowel cancer, spinal cord injury and stroke.

thyroid and constipation

When your thyroid, a small gland near at the front of your neck, fails to produce enough hormones, it can have a drastic impact on your metabolism. A sluggish metabolism results in a slowdown of the entire digestive process, which leads to constipation.
The symptoms of hypothyroidism usually develop slowly over time. Aside from constipation, if you have an underactive thyroid, you may also experience fatigue, increased sensitivity to cold, dry skin, weight gain, irregular menstrual periods if you’re a woman, thinning hair, brittle fingernails, impaired memory and a puffy face.

diabetes and constipation

Like hypothyroidism, diabetes is also a hormonal problem. In diabetes, your body stops producing enough of the hormone insulin so your body can no longer break down sugar in your blood.
The high blood sugar levels seen in type 1 and 2 diabetes can lead to diabetic neuropathy, or nerve damage. According to the Mayo Clinic, damage to the nerves controlling the digestive tract can lead to constipation.
It’s imperative for diabetes to be diagnosed as early as possible. Diabetes symptoms will get worse if not treated. Along with constipation, look out for other symptoms including being thirsty all the time, frequent urination, particularly at night, fatigue, weight loss and blurred vision.

stress and constipation

When you’re anxious or stressed out, your body goes into “flight or fight” mode. Your sympathetic nervous system becomes active, which means your digestion gets put on hold.
Anxiety that doesn’t go away, sometimes called generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), can take a toll on your digestive process.
Other symptoms of GAD include excessive worry, restlessness, insomnia, irritability and difficulty concentrating.

depression and constipation

Depression can cause constipation for a variety of reasons. People who are depressed might stay in bed all day and have decreased physical activity.
They might also change their diet, eat a lot of foods high in sugar or fat, or not eat much at all. Such lifestyle and diet changes can likely lead to constipation.
Medications and psychological counseling are very effective for people with depression. Symptoms of depression include feelings of worthlessness or despair, suicidal thoughts, angry outbursts, loss of interest in pleasurable activities, trouble concentrating, fatigue and reduced appetite.

medications and constipation

there are some drugs which affect your bowel movement and digestive system which may contribute to constipation which include opiate painkillers(such as codeine and morphine), calcium channel blockers for high blood pressure and heart disease, anticholinergic agents used to treat muscle spasms, drugs used to treat epilepsy, tricyclic antidepressants, drugs used to treat Parkinson’s disease, diuretics(used to help your kidneys remove fluid from your blood), antacids for stomach acid(especially antacids high in calcium), calcium supplements, iron supplements for treating anemia, and antidiarrheal agents.