Are your intestines healthy? Do you poop every day? If the answer is no, you probably deal with constipation. You are unable to pass bowel movements and your stool is too hard and painful. Some people even experience tears of the muscles in the anus area.
Your constipation is caused by lifestyle choices, eating habits or diseases. Do you drink enough water? Researchers say you should drink eight glasses of water every day. insufficient water intake leads to hard stools and constipation. Constipation is sometimes caused by low intake of fiber which is why nutritionist recommend eating more veggies, avocado, flax seeds and apples.
What happens to your body when you are constipated?
If you don’t poop every day, you will strain during your bowel movement as you will deal with a heavy load. This is giving you a wear-and-tear problem.
Smooth muscle fibers within the intestines propel waste and food. When exposed to pressure (constipation), they put additional pressure on the veins around the rectum.
Veins stretch beyond their capacity, and are unable to maintain their shape. Sometimes they can’t remain in the internal cavity, causing discomfort and bleeding.
Blood sometimes accumulates in hemorrhoids, creating painful and hard lumps. Hemorrhoids may also cause skin tags, infections and blood clots.
2. Loss of appetite
Chronic constipation kills your appetite, and makes you feel like not eating food at all. It’s similar to what happens when you are sick. This happens because your gut is connected to other organs, including your brain. Whenever you eat food, the nerves in your stomach are stretched, initiating a mass movement.
During this movement, stomach nerves send signals to the bowels to trigger their movement. Intestines are designed to push food through the gut. That’s why you go to the toilet whenever you finish a meal.
In cases of constipation, things don’t work this easy. The congestion needs to be handled for the food to pass through the gut. In other words, your body turns off your appetite until you poop.
The food you eat affects the way you look. Being constipated means there’s a strain on your intestinal microflora. When the gut flora doesn’t do its job, your skin suffers.
Internal gut problems are often manifested through puffiness, dark circles under the eyes, rashes and acne. The skin is your biggest organ, and is responsible for the elimination of toxins.
Toxins that accumulate during constipation give you skin blemishes. If your body doesn’t eliminate toxins through your bowels, they will find their way through the skin.
Researchers have found that constipation is a common cause of headache, and it’s related to stress. Pooping is a normal function, and constipation causes pain, worry, pressure, and bloating. This adds stress, and stress leads to tension headaches. Constipation is also caused by dehydration. Your body needs water to generate “a soft stool.”
Insufficient water intake leads to compacted and dry stool. Your headache isn’t directly caused by constipation, but it sure is with dehydration. In other words, hydrating relieves both your headache and constipation. Researchers have found that headaches may be caused by toxic buildups during constipation. Having the waste for too long in your body leads its reabsorption in the system, which leads to headaches.
5. Bad breath
A Danish study found that constipation may cause bad breath. About 25% of the participants who had bad breath were actually dealing with constipation. Similar studies have shown that people who deal with constipation also have recurrent cases of bad breath or bad taste in their mouth.
We don’t really know how this works. It may have something to do with the proliferation of dangerous gut bacteria which generates malodorous gases. This may be the reason you have bad breath.
6. Anal fissures
Too much strain causes tears of tissues around the anus. Anal fissures are accompanied with bleeding, pain and itching.
Anal fissures make passing stool look like a challenge, and constipation gets worse. This is common in children who hold in their poop since they try to avoid the pain.
These tears are tiny, but may become bigger and damage the muscle ring that keeps your anus closed. This type of fissures heals harder, and requires medication or even surgery.
When the stool can’t pass out of the gut, it congests in the intestines. Hard stool sticks in this area, causing blockage. Intestines don’t have enough strength to get the stool out of the body. This results in vomiting and pain. Some even go to hospitals to get proper treatment. Fecal impaction is common in elderly and children.
8. Rectal prolapse
The rectum is actually the final portion of the colon. Excessive straining may lead to its protrusion outside the anus. Sometimes it’s just a tiny part that comes out, but in some cases the whole rectum comes out.
This results in discomfort and bleeding, and some have trouble making a difference between hemorrhoids and rectal prolapse. These two require different treatments and are considered as different conditions.
9. Fecal incontinence
It’s a condition in which sufferers can’t control their bowel movement. Fecal incontinence is one of the side effects caused by constipation. It occurs as a result of the constant straining that weakens the rectal muscles and causes nerve damage. The blockage caused by fecal impaction affects the ability of your colon muscles to stretch. The watery stool deeper in the gut may seep around the blockage.
Sufferers usually take laxatives or therapy for their fecal impaction. Weakened muscles need to be strengthened, meaning you should do pelvic strengthening and bowel training.
Fatigue is a close friend of constipation. It may indicae an underlying cause of your constipation.
Constipation can also cause fatigue if you struggle with malnutrition.
Holding on to toxins stops the body from getting nutrients from the food you eat. Add more fiber to your diet and exercise. Ask for medical help if your condition is serious.
11. Bladder control
There is a tight link between bladder and colon. Constipation affects surrounding organs.
The colon adds pressure on the bladder, so it fails to fill and leads to unexpected leaks. Excessive strains also affect the pelvic floor muscles that are important for proper bladder control.
Constipation can cause serious problems, including loss of bladder control, pain, bleeding, fatigue, bad breath, headache and breakouts. Kids are sometimes afraid of the pain, and their constipation becomes severe.
Be physically active, drink enough water, eat fiber-rich foods and add more healthy fats to your diet.