Constipation causes

The science of stool formation.

When you’re not constipated, your colon absorbs water from the food you eat, transforming it into a stool. The muscles in your colon contract and push the stool toward your rectum.

When the colon absorbs too much water, or when the colon’s muscle contractions slow down, constipation can occur. The stool moves through the colon too slowly, causing it to get hard and dry.

 

A disturbance in the force: Causes of constipation.

No matter how hard we try to avoid it, constipation happens to the best of us. Here are some of the most common causes:

  • Changes in your life or routine (including travel)
  • Stress (surprise, surprise!)
  • Ignoring the urge to go
  • Lack of fibre in your diet
  • Dehydration
  • Not enough exercise
  • Being pregnant or having recently given birth (one of the reasons why, statistically, women suffer more from constipation than men)
  • Some medications
  • Certain medical conditions

Are you taking other meds that might cause constipation?

Constipation can also be a side effect of many over-the-counter and prescription drugs. Check to see if you’re taking any of the following:

  • Pain medications (especially narcotics)
  • Antacids that contain aluminum
  • Antispasmodics
  • Antidepressants
  • Bismuth salts
  • Iron supplements
  • Diuretics
  • Anticholinergics
  • Calcium-channel blockers
  • Anticonvulsants

Always take your laxative treatment two hours before or after your other medication to ensure that it doesn’t alter how your body absorbs it. Always consult a healthcare practitioner prior to using a new medication.

 

What are the signs of constipation?

Your body is talking to you. What is it saying?

Find out