While not always the case, for the most part, constipation is a result of irregular food habits, sedentary lifestyle and everything that counts to be unhealthy. Most of the time a little change in your lifestyle habits and improving physical activity can help you get over the symptoms of the condition. However, there are times when the cause might not be just this.
In fact, there could be underlying medical conditions that are causing your constipation. And it is for this reason that we turned to Dr. Jayshree Shah Consultant-Hepatologist, Gastroenterologist and Therapeutic Endoscopist at Jaslok Hospital & Research Centre to get the facts on what conditions could be causing your constipation.
Hypothyroidism: Of the many symptoms an underactive thyroid gives rise to, constipation is one of them. Hypothyroidism slows down many physiological conditions of the body and it could also do the same to the digestive track making it difficult for an individual to pass stool. Read to know what happens if you miss a thyroid dose.
Neurological conditions: Certain neurological conditions like multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease or a spinal cord injury can also lead to constipation. Neurological problems can wreak havoc to the nerves that help to contract the muscles in the intestine for smooth passage of the stool. However, neurological problems can also have an impact on bladder movements too.
Irritable bowel syndrome: It is a condition that makes your constipation worse and is also a reason behind the same. Episodes of alternating constipation and diarrhea is a pattern of this syndrome.
Bowel cancers: While the condition is critical in its own right, as the tumor keeps on growing it can tend to be an obstruction to the stool just like the benign growth and lead to constipation.
Problem in the colon or rectum: Any obstruction in the colon or rectum regarding bowel stricture (narrowing of the colon), rectocele (rectum bulge through the back wall of the vagina), other abdominal cancer that presses on the colon could also be a cause of one’s constipation.
Infections in the intestine: Sometimes bacterial or other internal infections in the intestine can result in constipation.
Benign growth: A benign growth in the intestine, rectum or colon could also act as an obstruction to the passage of stool and contribute to the agony of constipation.
Polypharmacy: Having more than four medications for various ailments is a very common scenario in elderly. But this could have an influence on the stool pattern and lead to constipation. The common medications that can give rise to constipation are antidepressants, painkillers, certain vitamin (like iron capsules), blood pressure and allergy medications, etc. Sometimes even some antacids could give you the same problem. Know what happens when you keep popping antacids regularly.