Reasons for Constipation

If you've ever dealt with that uncomfortable, bloated, sometimes even painful feeling that comes from an unhappy digestive system, you've probably wondered what causes the condition and how you can keep it from coming back. The answer can typically be found in your diet, but there are other contributors as well.

Constipation sources can be found in your kitchen, your medicine cabinet and your lifestyle. To help keep your body humming along at its most healthy, it's important to realize some of the things that can lead to constipation.  Most of the time constipation is caused by dietary issues-lack of fiber, dehydration or a diet too high in fat. Eating a well-balanced diet with plenty of whole grains  and drinking plenty of water are two of the best ways to prevent constipation. Fiber proves to be hugely important-adults should have between 25 -35 grams of fiber every day. Unfortunately, many of us only get an average of 5-14 grams a day in our diets.  Lack of physical exercise can also lead to constipation, so make sure you get your body moving on a regular basis to keep your bowels moving on a regular basis!

Other common constipation sources include certain medications. Pain medicines, especially narcotics, can cause constipation. Other medications that are constipation sources include antacids, antidepressants, high blood pressure medications, iron supplements, anticonvulsants, medications used to treat Parkinson's disease and antispasmodics.

Some diseases can also make a person more prone to constipation. Certain neurological disorders like Parkinson's, MS and stroke can lead to constipation. Other disorders include diabetes, hypothyroidism, hypercalcemia, lupus and scleroderma.

Life changes, such as pregnancy and aging, can also lead to constipation. In fact, even temporary changes, such as travel or stress, can also cause your digestive system to rebel and leave one constipated.

Most of the time constipation can be relieved through diet and exercise, or over-the-counter medicines, but if you have a continuing or recurring problem, it's very important to see your doctor for treatment. 

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