Tagged with " Irritable bowel syndrome"
20 Jan
2017

7 Surprising Causes of Constipation

A few years ago, it would have been considered impolite to discuss subjects like constipation in public. However, as I write this article, playing on the television in the background is a commercial about the laxative Ducalax. While I am surprised to see these commercials, I am as equally surprised to discover some of the lesser known causes of constipation.

Constipation is the condition of bowels where the feces are dry and hardened and bowel evacuation is typically three times or fewer per week and difficult. The most common cause of constipation is not eating enough fiber or drinking enough water. Seven causes of constipation that may not be widely known are:

Side effects of medications

One of the most controversial commercials of Super Bowl 50 was one about a middle-aged man who was constipated. The drug company created the ad to bring awareness to the condition known as opioid-induced constipation. Some people were upset because the ad focused on constipation and not drug addiction. The Super Bowl commercial highlights the problem with certain medications and constipation. Some of the medicines are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), narcotics, antacids containing aluminum and calcium carbonate. Others include antidepressants, sedatives, iron supplements, diuretics, and calcium-channel blockers.

Pregnancy

Today, it appears that no longer is the case as we watch hilarious television commercials about Fiber One where the main character is a pregnant man who is expecting to deliver soon. The commercial seems to make an unspoken comparison between the delivery of a baby and the delivery of food through the digestive system. Of course, male pregnancy as depicted in the Fiber One commercial is not possible, but hormonal changes and the weight of the uterus pushing on the intestine of a pregnant woman can cause constipation. Women should discuss this problem with their doctors if the problem persists.

Using too many laxatives

Laxatives are taken to help relieve the symptoms of constipation, but may cause constipation if taken for long periods of time. Over a period, the body could build of a tolerance for the laxative and it does have the same effect.

Travel or other change in daily routine

When a person travels they don’t normally stick to their regular routines. The changes in diet and that daily routine can contribute to constipation.

Lack of exercise

Exercise affects our ability to maintain good health in many ways. When a person exercises for at least 30 minutes a day, it causes the stimulation of the intestines, which can help with maintaining regular bowel movements.

Psychological

There are many people who are too embarrassed or afraid use a public restroom. Therefore, they ignore or resist the urge to have a bowel movement. Withholding the stool can lead to constipation.

Irritable bowel syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common disorder that affects the large intestine (colon). Irritable bowel syndrome commonly causes cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea and constipation.

The Super Bowl commercial and others highlight some of the surprising lesser known causes of constipation. Constipation is not just caused due to a lack of fiber in a person’s diet. The next time you are feeling bloated, stopped up and unable to get relief from eliminating waste, consider that it may be due to constipation caused by one of these seven lesser known reasons.

6 Oct
2016

Causes of Serious Bloating You Should Know

After eating, sometimes the uncomfortable full or tight feeling is not just the food itself. There are also a lot of digestive gasses involved in this bloating including carbon dioxide, oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen, methane, or sulfur. This does not always occur; it largely depends on how much we eat and what we eat. When it does occur, the only ways to get rid of it is by releasing these digestive gasses via burping or farting. Although these things can be embarrassing in social situations, staying bloated is both uncomfortable, can be embarrassing in itself, and can get unhealthy.

One way to avoid it is knowing your own personal trigger foods that usually result in bloating. But that is not the only precautionary measure to take. There are others. First, eat everything in moderation. Eating too much of anything can give you bloating. Two, eat slowly since eating quickly causes you to swallow more gas-producing air. Three, opt for low-fat, non-greasy foods when it is available. This is also good for just staying healthy and losing extra pounds. Four, avoid too much high fiber food. Although fiber is actually a very good thing for physical health and definitely should remain a part of your diet, too much often triggers bloating.

This is largely because the small intestine is unable to digest fiber and creates extra gasses in the effort. So if you are eating something with fiber-which is a very good thing-just make sure not to overdo it Five, avoid sugary deserts, drinks, and snacks. Like fiber, sugar foods have difficulty being digested and the intense effort results in lots of gas. However, unlike fiber, sugary foods aren’t necessary and can be very unhealthy anyway. Six, it might be a good idea to partake of some of the available over-the-counter bloating-reducing medications like Beano, Gas-X, or Mylanta Gas.

However, sometimes none of this stuff will not work one bit if the bloating problem has nothing to do with food. Sometimes it can take place due to menstrual changes or a medical problem such as colon cancer, bowel obstruction, irritable bowel syndrome, or any number of any other physical maladies. That is why if you are experiencing bloating suddenly nearly all of the time, you should get a doctor involved ASAP. If the bloating is accompanied by abdominal pain, blood in your stools, diarrhea, or vomiting, don’t wait to see if the bloating lingers. Contact your doctor immediately. Bloating can also be induced by smoking. If you are seeking to reduce bloating episodes and are a smoker, do what you can by stopping this bad habit.

30 Sep
2016

Fiber In Your Diet: How Important Is It?

The human body needs many things to stay in optimal health. What you consume into your body may be the most important factor to staying healthy for a long time. There are countless vitamins and minerals that support a healthy body. This article is going to focus on something that is very important but is often forgotten: fiber!

What is Fiber and How Does It Work?

There are two types of fiber that the body can use. Those two types are soluble and insoluble.

Soluble Fiber is fiber that can be absorbed into the body, similar to how the body absorbs other vitamins. Soluble fiber is found in foods such as bread, oats and unripe bananas. This fiber helps to stabilize blood glucose levels, normalize insulin levels, and can lower blood cholesterol.

Insoluble Fiber is fiber that cannot be absorbed into your body. Instead of doing its work in your bloodstream, insoluble fiber stays in your intestines. As it travels through the curves of your intestinal track, it pushes and pulls solid materials through your body and pushes it out through your colon. The result is regular bowel movements, no constipation and better absorption of other vitamins and minerals.

High Fiber Foods

The easiest way to get fiber into your body is through the foods that you consume. Here are the top 3 fiber rich foods:

1. Beans- A good combination of soluble and insoluble fiber, beans are good for your heart and good for your digestive system.

2. Strawberries- These juicy berries contain lots of vitamins on the inside of the fruit. On the outside, plenty of fiber can be found in the hundreds of tiny seeds that each strawberry has.

3. Bran Cereal- Take one look at bran cereal and you can see how it would help to keep your digestive system regular. Buying cereals fortified with other minerals will boost the health benefits that can be gathered from each bowl.

For an added boost of fiber, powdered fiber supplements are available that can be mixed into drinks and smoothies.

Beware of Too Much Fiber

Even good things can be detrimental if you consume too much of them. Consuming too much fiber can result in bloating, constipation, and loose stools. Experiencing loose stools means that your food did not get enough time to digest before your fiber intake pushed it out.

Feeling bloated and/or constipated usually indicates dehydration. Luckily, an easy remedy is to drink more water!

16 Jun
2016

Chocolate and Constipation: What’s The Link?

Chocolate! One of the world’s most beloved treats. We turn to chocolate when we are happy, when we’re sad, to celebrate different holidays, or even to give to a beloved as a sign of our affection. There’s dark chocolate, white chocolate, chocolate with almonds, and choices galore! Let’s face it, we love chocolate.

However, after indulging in this scrumptious and delicious treat, you may find adverse consequences to pay for your enjoyment, such as constipation. There has been much suspicion and controversy as to whether or not chocolate does indeed cause constipation. There have been studies after studies conducted, without any clear verdict or answer to the question of whether it does or not.

It has been determined that chocolate does not in itself cause constipation, unless you have some other type of underlying problem. These problems could be something such as irritable bowel syndrome. Irritable bowel syndrome or IBS, is a problem that affects your lower intestines. It causes cramping, bloating, pain, discomfort, irregular bowel movements, diarrhea and constipation. With this condition, coupled with certain kinds of foods, triggers may occur causing constipation. Within this trigger typed foods, chocolate is one of the culprits. Everyone responds to food differently, but the possible link here may be clear.

Chocolate is a powerful antioxidant and may have other benefits for the human body such as lowering blood pressure, improving circulation, helping clean out your system, and more. However, with people that suffer from underlying problems that they may not even be aware of, the antioxidant full chocolates can trigger an onset of symptoms in IBS, including constipation. This includes also using chocolate in flavorings, such as hot cocoa and chocolate milk.

Today, one in five of all Americans suffer from signs and symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Most do not realize their discomfort is anything unusual and thus do not seek medical help or advice for their symptoms. Among all the studies, the results have actually even revealed that in some people, chocolate helped ease their constipation. So I believe it’s safe to say that it really is a person by person case, as to whether or not chocolate will cause constipation. The only connective dot that seems to rear its head time and again is the link between chocolate consumption and irritable bowel syndrome. It’s also worth noting that the benefits of chocolate come from the dark chocolate, which contains far more antioxidants than it’s semi-sweet or milk counterparts.