Are you often bloated? Is it hard for you to sit on a chair with the buttons almost popping out of your shirt? Is the bloating sometimes accompanied by stomach cramps? If you tick all the boxes, you are probably suffering from constipation.
Constipation is a bowel dysfunction characterized by dry and hard stools that are almost impossible to pass. The condition is much more serious than some people think – if left untreated, it can lead to hemorrhoids, fecal impaction or anal fissures. We usually pass between 3 stools per day and 3 stools per week, and anything less than that may be considered mild or, in cases of lack of defecation, severe constipation.
Constipation occurs when food moves slowly in the digestive tract, which makes the colon absorb more water. In this case, the stool becomes hard and dry and may cause unpleasant passing of stool. The common signs of constipation are stomach cramps and bloating as well as stomachache.
Here are the 10 most common causes of constipation:
1. Physical inactivity
According to studies, physically inactive people are more prone to constipation, which is why you need to start exercising more.
2. Some medications
Some drugs (opioids, diuretics, antidepressants and painkillers may cause food to move slowly through the digestive tract and cause constipation.
As we age, the digestive system tends to slow down, making constipation much more common in older people. Aging makes the muscles in the digestive tract stiffer than before, resulting in constipation and other digestive problems.
4. Lack of fiber in the diet
Not consuming enough fiber is one of the main causes of constipation. In order to regulate your bowel movements, add some apples, dates, whole grains, fruits, vegetables and nuts and seeds into your diet.
In some people, dairy products such as milk may be the main cause of constipation.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS, is caused by inflammation in the digestive tract which can cause more frequent constipation as well as other digestive problems.
Pregnancy brings many changes to the body, including hormonal imbalance and an enlarged uterus. In this case, the uterus might press on the intestines making the food pass slower and resulting in the development of constipation.
8. Frequent use of laxatives
Some people take laxatives when passing one stool per day, which is often mistaken for constipation. Although they can help, the overuse of laxatives can make the body get used to them. Once you become dependent on laxatives, you may experience constipation when you get off them.
9. Ignoring the urge to go to the bathroom
Not going to the bathroom for #2 when you need to may also lead to constipation. The longer you wait to pass a stool, the drier it will become, resulting in constipation.
10. Not drinking enough water
Dehydration is one of the main causes of constipation. This makes drinking plenty of water a priority for everyone, but sadly, most of us never drink the amount of water our body needs. Additionally, coffee, sodas and alcohol can also cause dehydration and constipation, so they should be avoided.
The good news about constipation is that there is a way of treating it naturally and removing all the stuck waste in your intestines. Here’s a simple natural remedy that can help:
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- A glass of water
Soak the seeds in water for about an hour, then mix them with the lemon juice and honey in a bowl. Now, mix everything in a blender and consume the mixture right away.
All the ingredients in the mixture are beneficial for our digestion. Chia seeds are an excellent source of fiber and have antioxidant properties, while lemons detoxify your intestines and treat bloating and constipation. Honey is a powerful nectar which has a beneficial effect on our digestion and overall health and has been used to treat constipation for a long time.
Drink the mixture every morning on an empty stomach and you will never fear bloating or constipation again.