No one likes to admit it. But trust me constipation happens to everyone. All of us have days when we just can’t go. Days when no matter how long we perch on the porcelain pot we don’t make any progress.
Maybe it’s that new med your doc warned you about. Or you’ve spent a few too many days on the couch. Perhaps your diet has simply been lacking in enough fruits and veggies lately.
The constipation culprit is usually easy to identify in those kinds of cases. And the solution is typically just as straightforward too. Some simple changes can usually get things moving again.
But sometimes a case of constipation doesn’t have such an obvious cause.
Hidden constipation culprits
If you have no idea what’s behind your marathon sessions in the reading room, keep reading. Because one of these five unexpected reasons for constipation could be why you’re irregular.
Your thyroid has an impact on every other organ in your body. When your thyroid slows down, other organs often follow suit. And that includes your intestinal tract which can cause constipation.
If you suspect a slow thyroid is behind your own bowel slow down look for other common symptoms. For example, puffiness, weight gain, muscle weakness, and dry skin are all common signs of hypothyroidism. If you’re experiencing more than one of these symptoms, ask your doctor about taking a thyroid test.
Yes, you DID read that right. The laxatives which are supposed to relieve your irregularity could be the CAUSE of your constipation.
Your intestinal tract is lined with muscle. And like any other muscle, they can get flabby and weak from lack of use. And that’s exactly what happens when you take laxatives too often. The chemicals in the drug do all the heavy lifting. And when your intestinal tract muscles stop having to do any of the work they can get too weak to step up when you really need them.
Skip the harsh chemical laxatives and try a natural approach instead. If you find you still need some extra help psyllium husk can often help get things moving again.
In reasonable amounts, dark chocolate is a healthy treat. But if you’re suffering from chronic gastrointestinal complaints such as constipation or an irritable bowel, it may be time to take a break.
The European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology has identified chocolate as a potential problem for chronic sufferers. Eliminate the chocolate entirely for a couple of weeks to see if that relieves your bowel complaints. If there is no change, feel free to add it back into your diet.
If you’re taking a diuretic to get rid of extra fluid or puffiness, it could also be behind your irregularity. Diuretics can lead to mild dehydration which also happens to be one of the most common causes of constipation.
When you become dehydrated, your body will actually pull fluids from your stools in order to get the hydration it needs. This makes them harder and denser. And of course, that makes having a bowel movement much more difficult.
If you’re on a diuretic and believe it may be contributing to your constipation, talk with your doctor about other options. And in the meantime be sure that you’re drinking plenty of water.
5. Holding it in:
It turns out you can accidentally teach your bowels not to move. Similar to laxative overuse, if you get into the habit of not going when you need to go your intestinal muscles can get used to not moving and stop working efficiently.
Folks who are shy about having bowel movements anywhere but at home or who skip bathroom breaks because they’re “too busy” can develop this problem.
Adding more water and fiber-rich foods to your diet can usually help get things moving again. But it’s also important to retrain yourself to go when you have to go, too.
She is an advocate of self-education and is passionate about the power of group knowledge sharing, like the kind found right here on HealthierTalk.com. Alice loves to share her views on holistic and natural healing as well as her, sometimes contentious, thoughts on the profit-driven inner workings of traditional medicine.
Follow Alice and HealthierTalk on Twitter and Facebook.
Latest posts by Alice Jacob (see all)
- Reverse these “Honey I shrunk my brain” risk factors - March 18, 2019
- The sleep habit that’s silently ruining your heart - March 18, 2019
- The eyes have it… strain that is (here’s what helps) - March 17, 2019