There’s one thing that we can all agree on: Constipation is an uncomfortable condition to avoid at all costs. When you’re constipated, it means that you’re experiencing difficult or irregular bowel movements. People with constipation tend to have fewer than three bowel movements per week.
Constipation is considered chronic if it persists for several weeks. Understanding the possible causes of chronic constipation is one of the first steps to finding relief.
Possible causes for persistent constipation include:
If you’re experiencing constipation, the first thing that you should look at is your diet. A diet that’s lacking in fiber can lead to constipation, as your body needs fiber for regular bowel movements. Additionally, if you’re eating a meat-heavy, dairy-heavy, or processed food-heavy diet, you may experience constipation.
Excess Alcohol or Caffeine
Alcohol interferes with your digestive process. It leads to dehydration and diminishes your glucose metabolism. So, your alcohol consumption could be the culprit behind your constipation
Caffeine stimulates the digestive tract, potentially leading to loose stools and even diarrhea. So, if you’re struggling with constipation, consider cutting back on caffeine.
A Lack of Exercise
Exercise increases circulation throughout your body, sending blood to the gastrointestinal tract. If you’re not regularly exercising, your gut may not receive the blood flow that it needs to function properly. As a result, you may experience constipation and other gastrointestinal symptoms, like gas and bloating.
In some cases, persistent constipation is caused by an underlying condition. Diabetes, hypothyroidism, depression, and anxiety are a few of the conditions that can lead to constipation. If your gastrointestinal health doesn’t improve after making lifestyle adjustments, consider receiving a medical evaluation to determine if a different condition is affecting your gut.
At The Center for Natural & Integrative Medicine, our staff can determine the underlying cause of your gastrointestinal discomfort and recommend natural treatment solutions. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!