Suffering From Constipation? You May Have One of These Five Problems

Constipation is a common problem, especially in Western countries, where dietary fiber consumption is minimal. Well, we all know, constipation is result of low dietary fiber and low fluid intake. Both of these conditions cause hard stool and constipation. Your constipation may be there for long time and you may have tried with laxatives and many over the counter medications for constipation. You may also have consulted your doctor without any satisfactory result. Well, you may have any of these medical conditions which can be the uncommon cause of constipation. Sometimes constipation may be result of lesser known causes such as use of certain commonly prescribed medications, certain medical conditions, use of supplements etc.

Common painkillers may cause constipation:

You have some body ache after long hours of work and you swallow a tablet of ibuprofen, which you bought in your way back from office at your nearby medical store, over-the-counter (OTC). Many commonly used painkillers such as aspirin, ibuprofen etc. can sometimes cause constipation. Because gastrointestinal tract contain receptors for these commonly used medications, hence, may cause constipation. Hence, think twice before swallowing aspirin or ibuprofen, especially if you have constipation.

Laxative overuse may lead to constipation:

If you use laxatives for long period of time for your chronic constipation, you may suffer from constipation. Laxatives act by stimulating the gastrointestinal tract and should be taken as directed by your doctor. Do not do self-medication with laxatives. If you use laxative for too long period, your body may develop laxative dependence, which means your gastrointestinal tract will not function (you cannot empty bowel) without laxative. Hence, when you stop using laxatives, you develop constipation. So, it is important to not use any medication including laxative more than your doctor advised.

Vitamin supplements may cause constipation:

Vitamins, as such do not cause constipation. However, many times vitamins are combined with minerals and other ingredients which may be reason for constipation. Especially, minerals such as iron and calcium present along with vitamins may cause constipation. Calcium and iron should be taken only if they are clearly indicated, and many doctors prefer to prescribe stool softener along with iron and calcium to counter constipation. So, you common vitamin supplements may lead to constipation.

Antacids may cause constipation:

Antacids usually contain aluminum (aluminum hydroxide, which is constipating and slow GIT movements or peristalsis) and magnesium (magnesium hydroxide, which has laxative effect and quickens GIT movements) compounds. Combination of these two compounds neutralizes each other and usually do not have any effect on GIT. However, some people may be more sensitive to aluminum compound and lead to constipation, when antacid is consumed for management of heart burn. If anyone suffer from constipation after consuming antacid, they should take alternative medication for heart burn or other symptoms.

Hypothyroidism may be the cause of constipation:

Hypothyroidism occurs due to under-active thyroid gland. Hypothyroidism slows down metabolic process and sometime even gut is slowed down and lead to constipation. However, every patient with hypothyroidism does not suffer from constipation. So, for physicians, while treating patients with chronic constipation, especially not responding satisfactorily with standard medications, it is worth getting thyroid tests done.

If you are suffering from constipation, and not getting satisfactory result, even with medication, it is important to think unconventionally and try to find out if you have any of the above mentioned five uncommon causes of constipation.

 

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