December is Constipation Awareness Month
December is here, where most people think of it only as the holiday season, most people are not aware that December is constipation awareness month. Constipation is a condition that can happen to anyone. However, it is a condition many people ignore and refrain from talking about. Constipation is also a condition that is not given enough attention.
Let’s dive in to learn more about constipation.
What Is Constipation?
Constipation is a condition that arises when a person experiences lesser bowel movements and trouble in passing the stools. When the frequency of bowel movements is less than three per week, it is called constipation. Constipation usually occurs when the stool becomes dry and hard, making it difficult to pass. Some people might also experience painful bowel movements during constipation.
What Are The Causes That Might Be The Reason Behind Constipation?
There are several causes of constipation. However, it mostly occurs when the stools don’t move out or move slowly from the rectum, causing it to become dry and hard. There are many causes that might be the reason behind constipation. Some of these include,
- Not consuming foods rich in fiber
- Not drinking an adequate amount of water daily
- Consuming a diet rich in meat and dairy
- Not exercising enough
- Not pooping when the urge to poop comes
- Changes in the daily routine
- Taking medications like antacids, antidepressants, or diuretics
- Being pregnant
- Old age
- Having eating disorders
- Excessive stress
- Having Irritable Bowel Disease
- Having Hypothyroidism
- Having hypercalcemia
What happens when constipation is not addressed and is left untreated for a long time?
If left untreated, chronic constipation can give rise to several complications. Some of these complications include the following,
- Hemorrhoids (a condition that causes swelling and inflammation in the rectal veins)
- Anal fissures (tears on the anal skin)
- Fecal impaction (trouble expelling the stools)
- Rectal prolapse
- Stress urinary incontinence (A condition that causes pelvic floor muscle damage)
The following preventive tips, when followed daily, help in preventing the risk of developing constipation, as well as relieving it. These preventive tips include the following,
- Drinking enough water daily. Hydration is extremely important to relieve and prevent constipation
- Reducing the intake of excessive meats and dairy products
- Eating a diet rich in fiber
- Not ignoring the urge to poop
- Trying to stay active throughout the day
- Exercising regularly
- Trying medication or other techniques to manage stress
Living With Constipation
Although constipation may seem like a normal issue, it is far from that. Constipation is a long term condition that is encountered by thousands of people daily. It is a condition that can take a toll on the overall health of the patient and also affect their day-to-day life. Hence, it is essential to practice self care and make healthy lifestyle modifications to combat constipation and improve the quality of life.
Management Of Constipation With Diet
There are several dietary changes that can be made in people having constipation. Eating a healthy, well balanced meal rich in fibre, fruits and vegetables can help in constipation. However, if the cause of constipation is not due to diet then in that case, it is advised not to eat anything on your own. In such cases, getting a diet prescribed by a doctor or dietitian is more helpful as they will provide a diet plan based on the cause of constipation.
A lot of people know about constipation. However, people are not really aware of the complications it can produce when ignored. In most instances, the patient having constipation experiences it as a result of the lifestyle they are leading. And hence, managing a lifestyle with healthy choices can prevent it from developing.
This constipation awareness month, take the initiative to educate the people around you about constipation symptoms, and its causes. Please spread the message about how important it is to acknowledge constipation and get it treated to prevent the risk of developing complications.