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10 causes of constipation you probably didn't know about

10 causes of constipation you probably didn't know about
Constipation: Castor oil is a natural laxative and triggers the peristaltic movement of the intestine pushing digested food ahead. This movement helps remove the waste product. You can drink a spoonful of castor oil or drink it by mixing it with a glass of warm milk.

Suffering from constipation? Here are some of the reasons you might be suffering from the condition.

Written by Pavitra Sampath |Updated : November 5, 2015 11:41 AM IST

Constipation, a condition that is often treated as a joke can be very uncomfortable and sometimes painful for a person suffering from it. Clinically defined as condition where a person has difficulty in passing motion or suffers from infrequent bowel movements, constipation can have a number of ill effects on your health. While there are a number of home remedies to remedy the condition, the knowing about the cause for the onset of constipation is as important as treating it. So, to help you out, here are 10 common causes of the condition.

Low water intake or dehydration: If a person drinks lesser water than required, it causes the body to use up its resources quickly. Your body will then try to compensate for the lack of water by absorbing it from as many sources as it can, and bodily waste is its first target, leading to constipation. This makes the feces or waste product dry and difficult to pass out. To add to this, the slower the food you eat passes through your intestines, the more water the colon absorbs from the food making the problem even worse. You may also like to read about the other consequences of not drinking enough water.

2. Sedentary lifestyle: In today's day and age where almost everything is computerized, a sedentary lifestyle has become the norm. The body relies on exercise for various functions like producing mucus (an essential fluid used to lubricate the anus) and to keep up its metabolic rate. When we are sedentary, the body metabolizes less, leading to constipation. Sitting for long hours can do a lot more damage to your body than you think, here's why.

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3. Certain drugs or medication: There are some drugs that can cause constipation like antidepressants, calcium channel blocking drugs and diuretics (both are usually prescribed for hypertension and heart disease).

4. Pregnancy: During pregnancy, the drastic hormonal changes that a woman experiences could lead to constipation. Another known reason is the growth of the foetus which can put pressure on the digestive tract leading to slower passage of food. You may also like to read about some natural remedies to beat constipation during pregnancy.

5. Aging: As people age, their bodily functions also change. It has been found that in old age, a number of people suffer from constipation, due to a slower rate of metabolism and digestion.

6. Overuse of laxatives: Most people adopt the use of laxatives in order to make their bowel movements regular. Laxatives are known to be habit forming, which means that the more you use them, the higher doses you will need to get the same results. If you are on laxatives, it is best you slowly wean off their use.

7. Cancer or other systemic diseases: There are a few conditions like colon cancer or other systemic diseases like diabetes, hypothyroidism, Parkinson's disease that can lead to constipation. In such a case it is best you visit your doctor for medical help.

8. Constipation can also be a glaring sign that you are suffering from a bowel obstruction. When it is very severe and a person does not pass motion for days on end, it is known as obstipation .

9. Milk or dairy products: Some people suffer from a condition called 'lactose intolerance', a condition which occurs when a person is allergic to milk and milk products. This condition can cause either diarrhoea or constipation.

10. Controlling the urge to use the washroom: Some people tend to control the urge to use the washroom. Although certain situations may warrant this, controlling bowel movements on a regular basis could lead to constipation. This is because when you control yourself faeces moves higher up in the rectum and could lead to incomplete elimination.

Here's a little more information

OsteoporosisImage source: Getty Images

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