There is probably no condition that goes untreated as often as constipation. Nor is there any condition that occurs with greater overall frequency than constipation. While the symptoms of constipation are relatively mild and tend to be limited to: difficulty passing stool, hard or dry stool, and infrequent bowel movements. In more severe cases, constipation may also include nausea, severe abdominal or lower back pain, and even bloody stool.
Constipation is a very common condition because it can be caused by a large number of factors. In the vast majority of cases, poor diet and a lack of physical exercise are thought to be the cause of the constipation-and where not the actual cause, at least contributing factors. Dairy products, greasy foods, alcohol, and caffeine are just a few of the products we consume that can lead to constipation problems. Chronic constipation is a real possibility when improper nutrition and poor lifestyle have been consistent issues.
Common Constipation Causes
While chronic constipation problems are usually the result of poor diet and lifestyle, temporary constipation can be caused by a host of factors. A heavy night of drinking can cause dehydration which will result in hard, dry stool. A new pain medication or antidepressant may also lead to regularity problems. Stress is a huge cause of constipation and one of the big reasons for its frequency. Simply withholding bowel movements (a common cause of childhood constipation) can lead to infrequency. But, while all of these things and more may lead to temporary constipation, the good news is that it will go away once the cause has been addressed. It is chronic constipation problems that are the real cause for concern as they can be a sign of a much larger and potentially more dangerous medical issue.
Medical Conditions That Cause Constipation
Chronic constipation is a problem in and of itself because it can cause bacteria and toxins to build up in the body because stool is not being evacuated from the body. In time, these bacteria will spread throughout the body via the blood stream and cause infections and other medical problems. Septicemia may result so that the entire body is fighting infections in multiple locations and death may be possible unless antibiotics can help the immune system regain control. Aside from this, chronic constipation is a problem because it often signals the presence of another medical issue.
Diabetes is a condition where the body is unable to properly regulate blood glucose levels via insulin. A side effect of diabetes is dehydration which then leads to the constipation which is often present with diabetes. Proper treatment will reduce the blood glucose spikes and reduce dehydration but it may still be necessary to hydrate more than normal to prevent constipation problems from arising.
In addition to diabetes, there are a number of neurological conditions that cause constipation problems. Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease, strokes, and spinal cord injuries have all been known to cause constipation. But unlike diabetes where the constipation is caused by dehydration, this is not the case with neurological disorders. Instead, the constipation arises due to the brain not sending the right signals to muscles in the intestines and gastrointestinal tract.
In order for the body to have normal bowel movements, Peristaltic Action is necessary. Peristaltic Action is the natural movement within the body that pushes food from the stomach into the intestines. Afterwards, the action pushes the waste from the intestines through the colon and out the rectum. When signals from the brain are not sent or received properly, Peristaltic Action will not occur properly and constipation is the result. Even though the medications to treat neurological disorders may aid in the transmission of the signals, they may still cause constipation due to dehydration.
Chronic constipation, however, is most often the result of poor diet or a blockage in the gastrointestinal tract. A blockage, or fecal impaction, is caused when the feces that clings to the walls of the colon and intestines builds up to the point of causing an obstruction. When this occurs, waste will not pass beyond the fecal impaction and pressure will begin to build on the abdomen and lower back. If the waste is not evacuated from the body in a timely fashion, the blood stream will begin to reabsorb the bacteria present in the waste. This will lead to a general weakening of the entire immune system and leave your body susceptible to infection and disease. If the blockage is not removed and too much waste backs up, a massive infection will begin to rage in the body and a person will develop septicemia. Death is a very real possibility once septicemia has begun.
Eating a diet rich in fiber will help prevent the onset of chronic constipation. Fiber helps add bulk to stool while also drawing water into the gastrointestinal tract and softening stool in the process. Fiber will help keep the gastrointestinal tract clear but it will not help remove the feces clinging to the sides of the colon and intestines. Therefore, the potential for future blockages and chronic constipation remain.
One of the surest ways to reduce chances for future blockages is to periodically employ a colon cleanser. A colon cleanser will not only eliminate current blockages, it will also help prevent future ones as well. This is because a colon cleanser will also help remove the feces clinging to the walls and thus reduce chances for future fecal impactions. However, it is important to remember that the colon cleanser should be made with all natural ingredients. Colon cleansers that are not made will all natural ingredients may contain harsh chemicals that may lead to dehydration or other harmful side effects.
While short term constipation will always be a factor that people have to contend with, it is generally not severe and tends to go away once the cause has been addressed. Chronic constipation may be the signal of a more serious medical condition like diabetes or the result of a fecal impaction. Because it is much more likely a fecal impaction causing the problem, it is important to eat a diet rich in fiber and to use an all natural colon cleanser periodically to prevent chronic constipation and the build up of bacteria that can cause more serious health problems.