The Effects Of Constipation On Your Body

Photo credit: bigstockphoto.com

Photo credit: bigstockphoto.com

Many people think that they must have a bowel movement at least once a day in order to be normal. You don’t have to worry about being constipated unless you have three or less bowel movements in a week.

While constipation is usually not serious on a short-term basis, around 42 million people end up being constipated at one time or another. The Mayo Clinic only recognizes constipation as a serious condition if it lasts a few weeks or longer. What Are the Side Effects of Being Constipated?

 

1. Infections

If you end up being constipated, you are probably having trouble passing a stool. If the stool has become dry and hard from lack of moisture, it could make having a bowel movement painful. When the rectum is stretched out to accommodate the painful stool, the rectum could stay open resulting in rectal prolapse. This could lead to an infection.

 

2. Bad breath

One unusual side effect is bad breath. You may wonder how a condition that is occurring at one end of your body could affect the complete opposite end of your body, but it can. What happens is the gasses and toxic waste that are building up because you are constipated rises up and as it goes throughout the body and it usually ends up in your mouth.

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3. Lowered ratio of healthy bacteria

Healthy bacteria in your body is called flora. The purpose of flora is to help with the production of vitamins and helps with your immune system. When you are constipated the amount of flora in your intestine is reduced putting you at risk for illness and infection.

 

4. Colon cancer

The colon is meant to store a couple of pounds of stools. If you become constipated, there is a buildup of stools and puts the colon at risk for ripping. When the colon becomes strained because it is overloaded, it strains the inner membrane. Ruptures and possible infections occur and it could lead to colon cancer.

 

5. Increased toxins

Your skin will show on the outside what your body is going through on the inside. If you become constipated, you will suffer an excess of toxins in your body. The skin, your largest organ, has to work overtime to get rid of these toxins. If your skin looks less than glowing you need to address the issues that are going on inside of your body before you start looking for a new facial cream.

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Photo credit: bigstock.com

Photo credit: bigstock.com

6. Hemorrhoids

When you are constipated, you may find yourself trying too hard to push out a stool. What can result is a hemorrhoid. A hemorrhoid is a swollen vein that can be found around the bottom of the rectum. They can result in extreme pain, difficulty sitting in a chair, and uncontrollable itching. There are over-the-counter treatments and soothing pads available to help deal with the side effects.

 

How to Prevent Being Constipated

  • Eat more fruits and vegetables. Eating more fruits and vegetables is a good thing for many reasons but when it comes to avoiding being constipated, it helps to add these foods to your diet. When you eat fruits especially, it is best if you can consume the skin which is what increases your fiber intake.
  • Avoid eating too many processed foods. Most junk food is so processed there is no fibrous content to it, let alone any nutritional value. When foods have no fiber content at all it makes it difficult to process it leaving you feeling bloated and constipated.
  • Make sure to chew your food properly. When you chew your food thoroughly you break it down into small enough pieces so that it can be transported through the digestive process more easily. It will make it easier to exit the body keeping you from becoming constipated.
  • Check the medications you are taking. There are many medications that could leave you in a constipated state. Check with your doctor to find out if one of the side effects to your prescription is constipation. If it is, make sure you get a natural laxative so you are able to resume regular bowel movements again.
  • Increase your fiber. Eating a high fiber diet helps your body operate properly. Your food is able to move through your digestive system smoothly and complete the entire process so you are able to have a healthy bowel movement.
  • Drink plenty of fluids. You should be drinking at least 8 glasses of water each day in order to stay hydrated. If you do not drink enough fluids, your body will suffer and you will find it more difficult to have a bowel movement.
  • Exercise on a regular basis. Regular exercise revs up your metabolism and increases your circulation. When your circulation and metabolism are running at an optimum level, you will eliminate your chances of becoming constipated.

 

READ ALSO: 15 Foods That Cause Bloating And What You Can Do About It

 

  • Try a natural laxative. If you do find yourself constipated, try a gentle, natural laxative so that you don’t put undue strain on your body. Check out a health food store or ask your doctor for any recommendations.

References:

www.mayoclinic.org

www.niddk.nih.gov