Why Am I Constipated?
Why am I constipated? Simple question for a host of underlying problems.
Constipation can be quite unpleasant. It can chew hours out of your day and lead to uncomfortable bloating, discomfort, and even reduce the effectiveness of your weight loss routine.
While you can try to make the most of your time by catching up on your reading, it’s important to avoid constipation as much as possible. The general feeling of discomfort is the least of your concerns, and chronic constipation can actually lead to infections, stomach pains, and more.
Most common answers to “why am I constipated?”
There’s many reasons, but some of the major ones are as follows:
Not Enough Fiber
One of the most common reasons for constipation is that you aren’t eating enough fiber. Fiber is what pushes the waste from your system. Without it, your intestines clog up, leading to embarrassing gassy episodes and stomach gurgling.
Ironically, however, you can also become constipated if you use too many laxatives. This is a common mistake as many people assume that if they are not getting enough fiber that laxatives are the natural solution. However, this is not a good plan.
According to Health, laxatives can actual create a dependency within your body and shut down your natural responses. Laxatives are different from fiber.
Natural fiber sources such as spinach, bok choy, and other green leafy vegetables are your best bet for making sure that your system is running smoothly. Fiber supplements can also be consumed. These are also distinct from laxatives because they provide fiber which the body can use to push out the waste rather than using chemicals to stimulate bowel movements and intestinal contractions.
Too Much Sugar
Surprisingly, another side effect of sugar is that it causes constipation. For instance, in a study in 2005, individuals who struggled with chronic constipation or irritable bowel syndrome found that they developed constipation when they consumed chocolate and other sugar products.
The only solution for this is to cut back significantly on sugary products. Yes, even healthy sugary products can cause this kind of reaction. You’d be surprised at how dangerous some so-called healthy foods can actually be.
The sugar effect is worsened when you consume a starchy product along with a dairy product. Flour and sugar can be quite binding when consumed together, and this becomes even worse if you struggle with dairy products. Some people find that they actually end up with diarrhea from lactose intolerance while others find that they become severely constipated.
Lack of Water
Failing to drink water can lead to dozens of painful side effects. Constipation is one of them. Even if you are consuming plenty of fiber, your body may not be able to push the waste out. This is because your body is dehydrated and there is nothing for it to use to push the waste out. If this is the cause of your constipation, then you will definitely feel it. Your bowel movements will be hard and painful. You are also likely to experience severe stomach and intestinal cramps if you don’t start hydrating as soon as possible.
Whenever you take a fiber supplement or eat anything with fiber, it’s important to drink at least 16 ounces of water. More is better, but this is the minimum amount that you should drink. Remember that constipation can become cumulative. You need to drink at least 64 ounces throughout the day every day.
If you begin experiencing cramping from constipation, you may not want to drink cold water. This can intensify the cramping. Instead, try sipping hot peppermint tea or chamomile tea. If this does not help, then you may need to use a heating pad. Eventually things should loosen up. If that doesn’t happen and you have not been able to poop for more than a week, you’re going to need to see a doctor. Their methods do tend to be more invasive, so it’s best to just avoid this by eating healthy, consuming fiber, avoiding sugar, and drinking lots of water.
“13 Surprising Causes of Constipation,” Health, http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20452199_6,00.html (2012).
“The Basics of Constipation,” Web MD, http://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/digestive-diseases-constipation (2011).