Causes and Treatment of Constipation

Constipation is a very common digestive problem. It is characterised by the difficulty in passing stools. It means a person either goes to toilet less than usual, or passes hard stools with great difficulty. It is often caused by eating foods lacking fibre or by drinking very less amount of water. However, there are other causative factors giving rise to constipation problem, such as underlying medical condition related to digestive system or bad effects of certain medications.

Causes of Constipation

  • Eating foods that lack fibre – In the UK, an average person eats around 12 g of dietary fibre each day. However, the daily recommendation is 18 g. Dietary fibres is a component of plant foods, which is not digested, instead, it remains in your digestive tract. Food rich in fibre helps with proper bowel movement by adding bulk to stool.
  • Drinking less water – Not drinking enough water throughout the day can increase the risk of constipation. Water helps move the food content in your gut and retains stools consistency.
  • Underlying medical conditions – Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Thyroid disorders or any Gastrointestinal diseases
  • Iatrogenic causes – Adverse effects of certain medicinal drugs can cause constipation, such as painkillers, antacids, antidepressants and iron supplements.

Treatment of Constipation

Lifestyle changes help you cope with constipation, such as eating healthy foods rich in fibre, drinking plenty of water, exercising regularly and avoiding smoking or limiting alcohol. Laxatives are often prescribed to manage constipation, but they are advised for a specific duration. Excessive use of laxatives should be avoided, as they may increase the risk of gut problems. Initially, bulk-forming laxatives are prescribed to treat constipation. If they fail, physicians advise osmotic laxatives.

At PharmacyOutlet, you can come across a wide range of medicines that are beneficial for treating constipation. Make sure you consult your doctor before using any medicine!


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