Severe constipation is a widespread problem, and there are different causes for it. Some of the most common causes are a low-fiber diet, limited physical movement and intake of inadequate fluids which can be corrected with simple lifestyle changes. But did you know that severe constipation causes also includes lesser-known reasons such as certain types of medicines, supplements and other serious medical conditions? If not, read the following article to know more about uncommon severe constipation causes.
This is a condition in which the thyroid gland becomes underactive which, in turn, slows down all the metabolic processes including the gut. But it is crucial to understand that not all people suffering from hypothyroidism have constipation. If someone has constipation, it might indicate that the thyroid gland might be causing a chemical imbalance in the body. Of lately, if you sense that your constipation is not subsiding in spite of taking necessary measures, then get the thyroid levels checked.
- Excessive use of painkillers
Even though there is no substantial proof for this theory, some studies have suggested that continuous use of painkillers like ibuprofen and aspirin can trigger high risk of constipation. Painkillers have a narcotic effect which can lead to constipation. The receptors in the digestive tract might get affected due to these and considerably slow down the intestinal processes. It is best to avoid these drugs, and in case there is no way you can afford to do so, you should consider taking mild laxatives which can soften the stool.
Many research suggests the contribution of chocolate in causing constipation, though there are studies that demonstrate that chocolate can actually help some people. However, people already suffering from digestive problems like IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) or chronic constipation, should avoid chocolate as it can act as a trigger and aggravate the symptoms.
- Vitamin supplements
Vitamins are not supposed to lead constipation, but the ones that contain iron and calcium can often cause issues in the digestive tract. Some experts of the American Gastroenterological Association recommend that people suffering from constipation should never opt for iron or calcium boosters until there is no other option. For such patients, following a wholesome diet and using stool softeners can offer the necessary balance.
- Overuse of laxatives
A class of laxatives works by stimulating the activities of the bowel, and these should be taken only as directed by the physician. Some people have a tendency to take laxatives on a regular basis which leads to dependence. This means that the body would not be able to function unless you take laxatives. Also, you should never take any medication or laxative more than what’s instructed by your doctor.
- Dairy products
If you consume a high amount of dairy products like milk, cheese, cream, butter, chocolate, etc. then it can affect your digestion process leading to constipation. It could also be because you are lactose intolerant. Therefore, it is advised that you discuss this possibility with your doctor. The obvious solution is to cut down such foods and replace them with 25 to 30 grams of fiber. If you have to take these foods, then you can mix in some salads for mitigating the effects. Moreover, you should stay away from processed and junk foods since they can worsen the condition.
- Using antidepressants
Did you know that selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor or SSRI class of antidepressants are one of the severe constipation causes? But, constipation is a more serious issue among those who take older tricyclic antidepressants although it is not clear why these drugs have such an effect. If you have no means to reduce the intake of these medicines, you must opt for a gentle laxative.
Quite similar to hypothyroidism, depression also leads to a slowdown of the normal processes occurring inside the body, thereby affecting the bowel movement. People suffering from irritable bowel syndrome also have depression which further aggravates constipation.
Is there anything better than antacids for treating heartburn quickly? Probably not. But the antacids with high amounts of aluminum or calcium can be regarded as one of the severe constipation causes. The good part is that there are tons of options when it comes to antacids and therefore if one doesn’t suit you, you can always try the other one. However, the best way to overcome the situation is by avoiding foods that lead to heartburn or having natural ingredients that can ease the discomfort.
- Medications meant for controlling allergies and blood pressure
Constipation could be a side effect of the drugs that you take to curb an allergy or high blood pressure including diuretics and calcium channel blockers. They can lower blood pressure by boosting the urine output which eliminates water from your body system. You should, therefore, drink a lot of water and follow a proper diet.