What Are The Causes Of Constipation
Medicines: Over the counter or prescription medicines often carry a side effect of constipation. If symptoms began after starting one of these drugs, ask your doctor to see if there are any alternatives. Please see Guts UK information on Opioid Induced Constipation for more information.
Emotion: there is a strong connection between feelings and how the gut works. This is called the gut brain connection, the gut and brain talk to each other, normal signals involve feeling hungry or getting butterflies Sometimes the brain and gut overshare information. Being upset or depressed can make the bowel slow down or speed up. Emotional upsets, even in childhood, may result in functional constipation many years later.
Disturbed eating behaviour: eating disorders and sustained periods of erratic eating can result in constipation, even if eating behaviour returns to normal.
Ignoring the natural urges to open bowels: ignoring bowel urges because of an aversion to public toilets or time or social constraints can result in changes to both how the bowel muscles work and the pattern of bowel opening.
Excessive straining: this can be because of difficulty co-ordinating the muscles that empty the bowel.
Irregular mealtimes reduced liquid intake and reduced physical activity: these can all worsen symptoms in people with a tendency towards constipation.
Pain, or fear of pain, on passing stools.
- Bleeding in the stool
- or rectal pain
This Is Why Stress Can Cause Diarrhea And Constipation
Senior Lifestyle Editor, HuffPost Canada
We’ve all been there: you’ve got a job interview, or a presentation to give at work, or a million and one things to do in the day and then it hits you. You’ve got the runs, or you’re constipated, and your day just went to shit.
Dealing with anxiety on any given day is tough, but add stress poo on top of that and you just want to give up.
But, as a new report in Self.com notes, getting the runs or constipation is actually pretty normal when one is stressed out.
“Many people have that experience where stress causes irregularity of their bowels,” Kyle Staller, M.D., M.P.H., a gastroenterologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, told the website.
But just because it’s common doesn’t mean that you can’t prevent it from happening on those days when you need everything to go right.
According to Dr. Staller, the reason why you feel stress in your stomach is because your brain and gut talk to each other.
“Your gastrointestinal tract has many nerves and is a nervous system organ much like the brain,” he said. “The brain can impact what’s going on in the gastrointestinal tract, and vice versa.”
So when you’re stressed out, it actually causes spasms in your gut, reports Self. “If the spasms are widespread, your whole colon is contracting, everything will move along quickly, and you’ll experience diarrhea. However, if the spasms are only happening in one area, it can hold everything up and aggravate constipation.”
Getting The Most From Your Treatment
- Ondansetron should start to work within an hour or so. If you are taking tablets or liquid medicine and you are sick within one hour of taking a dose, you should take the same dose again. This does not apply, however, if you are using suppositories or if you have been given an injection, as being sick will not prevent these from being absorbed by your body.
- Even if you do not feel like eating or drinking, try to sip water regularly to prevent you from becoming lacking in fluids . Also, rather than trying to eat three main meals a day, try eating small, simple but nourishing snacks, every few hours.
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What Are The Side Effects Of Ondansetron
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: rash, hives fever, chills, difficult breathing swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- severe constipation, stomach pain, or bloating
- headache with chest pain and severe dizziness, fainting, fast or pounding heartbeats
- fast or pounding heartbeats
- blurred vision or temporary vision loss
- high levels of serotonin in the bodyagitation, hallucinations, fever, fast heart rate, overactive reflexes, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of coordination, fainting.
Common side effects may include:
- diarrhea or constipation
- drowsiness or
- tired feeling.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
How To Prevent Medication
Not everyone will become constipated when using these medications. However, you should be aware of the possible side effects and what you can do to prevent constipation.
In general, you want to make sure you are well hydrated with water, not coffee or carbonated beverages, says Dr. Curtin. You also want to have a healthy amount of fiber in your diet and try to limit processed foods. It is worth asking your doctor if there are alternative agents. Calcium channel blockers, used for high blood pressure, such as diltiazem, for example, are notorious for causing constipation. If there is another class of medication that can treat the underlying health problem, you should at least be given the option.
Fortunately, there are some relatively simple nonpharmacologic approaches to preventing constipation.
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This Factsheet Is About Constipation
Constipation is a symptom that can mean different things to different people, but the usual meaning is that a person has difficulty or infrequency with opening their bowels. Constipation affects around 1 in 7 otherwise healthy people. The two groups of people most likely to be trouble by constipation are young women and the elderly especially those who need to take regular medicines.
There is a common belief that people need to open their bowels every day, but this is not the case. Opening the bowels can vary between three times a day to three times a week in healthy individuals. Symptoms can constantly fluctuate and 3 people in every 100 adults have persistent constipation over 20 years. It is a common problem and does not usually mean that anything is seriously wrong. Most cases are temporary and will clear up with simple lifestyle measures.
What Is The Link Between Stress And Diarrhea
Water and sanitation conditions are rarely a concern in the United States, but there are numerous other factors that play a role. Though it is a relatively new area of study, evidence increasingly supports the idea of a strong connection between the gastrointestinal system and the central nervous system. Indeed, the enteric nervous systemwhich controls the function of the gastrointestinal systemis sometimes referred to as the second brain in part because of how it can function somewhat independently of the autonomic nervous system .
This so-called brain-gut axis that links the nervous system and gastrointestinal system isnt fully understood yet by scientists, but studies show that they are inextricably linked. This means that what happens in the bowels can affect the brain, and what happens in the brain can affect the bowels. It is the interplay between these two body systems that provides a framework for understanding how stress and diarrhea can be linked.
Research has also shown that these same brain chemicals may also have an impact on the microbiota that reside inside the digestive tract. The gut microbiome is a community of beneficial bacteria that live and function inside the colon and other parts of the digestive system. When a stressful situation is encountered, it is believed that these brain chemicals may disrupt the composition of bacteria and when this composition is disrupted, diarrhea and other gastrointestinal problems may result.
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What Are Complications Of Constipation
Constipation can cause complications, such as hemorrhoids, which occur by straining to have a bowel movement, or anal fissures which occur when hard stool stretches the sphincter muscle. This can result in rectal bleeding.
Sometimes, straining also causes rectal prolapse, where a small amount of intestinal lining pushes out from the anal opening. Constipation may also cause fecal impaction, which occurs mostly in children and older adults. The hard stool packs the intestine and rectum so tightly that the normal pushing action of the colon is not enough to expel the stool.
The Enteric Nervous System
The enteric nervous system or âsecond brainâ describes the nerves lining the digestive tract. These nerves consist of hundreds of millions of neurons and control the digestion of food. They also send signals from the gut to the brain. It is thought that in states of anxiety, disruption to the ENS-brain connection reduces motility through the gastrointestinal tract, leading to constipation. This represents a malfunctioning of the âgut-brain axisâ, which connects the gut to the brain.
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Stressful Life Events And Constipation
Patients with constipation have been exposed to significantly more stressful life events than controls . demonstrates the association between different stressful life events and constipation. After multiple logistic regression analysis, separation from the best friend , failure in an examination , severe illness in a family member , loss of job by a parent , frequent punishment by parents and living in a war affected area remained independently associated with constipation.
Is It Normal To Be Constipated After Food Poisoning
Constipation After Food Poisoning Causes Symptoms Home
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Should I Take Laxatives And Are They Safe
Regular use of laxatives is generally not encouraged but occasional use is not harmful. Things to consider:
- The effects of laxatives are unpredictable a dose that works today may not produce an effect tomorrow.
- Laxatives can cause pain and result in the passage of loose stools especially if the dose is too high.
- Long term use can lead to the bowel becoming progressively less responsive in some people, and in these individuals it may be important to switch to a different agent.
- Certain laxatives will not work in some patients.
- While laxatives and suppositories may ease bowel opening, they dont often help the common problems of pain and bloating.
Nevertheless, the balance of scientific evidence suggests that laxatives do not cause any damage to the bowel and there is no evidence that using them puts you at risk of getting colon cancer. Sometimes doctors will advise people to take laxatives and some people do need them longer term, if your doctor has advised them, they are unlikely to be harmful in the long term. Suppositories or mini-enemas are more predictable than laxatives and tend to be very well tolerated and effective. They are especially useful for people who have difficulty with needing to strain to evacuate their bowel. It may be best to use laxatives only with proper guidance.
Taking laxatives does not result in weight loss, they work on the large bowel and most of the goodness from food is absorbed in the small bowel.
The Downside Of Stress
Stress can help us out sometimes. Even if we dont face life-or-death experiences on a daily basis, stress can help us tackle other challenges, such as helping you meet a big deadline at work. Experiencing stress occasionally is pretty normal. However, stress is only helpful in limited quantities. Too much stress can leave us feeling unhappy, nervous, and overwhelmed.
Research shows that too much stress might have a negative effect on health. Prolonged stress can lead to problems like headaches, upset stomach, elevated blood pressure, chest pain, and insomnia.2 The emotional effects of stress can also be problematic. Some research indicates that experiencing high amounts of stress for a long period of time can be a trigger for depression or anxiety.3 However, its important to note that not everyone who has stress in their life will experience these exact effects.
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Anxiety Issues And Bowel Problems
- Anxiety has a strong affect on the gut, and ultimately the bowel.
- Anxiety can both speed up AND slow down intestinal movements.
- Several issues indirectly related to anxiety can also cause stool problems.
- Different types of bowel problems warrant different treatments.
- Only anxiety treatment will reduce the frequency of bowel issues in the future.
When Should I See A Doctor About My Constipation
If youre struggling with constipation as a result of your chemo treatment, despite making diet and lifestyle changes, its important to talk to your medical team. There are a range of medications which may be able to help, including laxatives, emollients and lubricants, and they can advise on whats suitable for you.
You should also contact your doctor if you are suffering from pain, swelling or hardness in your stomach, fever, nausea or vomiting, or if you have not had a bowel movement for 2-3 days despite following any advice given.
Constipation can be a common side effect of chemotherapy. However, by making some simple diet and lifestyle changes you can help to reduce the effects and make life more comfortable.
Do you have any tips for managing constipation during chemo, or are you looking for more advice? Visit the Live Better With cancer forum.
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How Can Stress And Anxiety Affect My Bowel
I am working from home at the moment, and I am watching the neighbour’s cat. It has just spotted something, a dog or a bird. She has frozen with her shoulders hunched. You can tell that all of her muscles are tense. She is ready to pounce or run.
This is how the body reacts to stress: it freezes. Muscles tense and shorten. Emotions can affect the speed at which food can travel through the body. It can be too fast or too slow. It can cause painful muscle spasms.
The gut contains millions of nerve cells. These send and receive signals, to and from the brain. This communication is the brain-gut axis.
Stress or anxiety can make your brain more alert to signals coming from the gut. ‘Butterflies in the tummy’ can be felt when nervous or excited. Pain, bloating and discomfort can be felt more acutely when a person is anxious.
The gut is also populated by billions of micro-organisms and bacteria. These can influence the health of the gut and the brain.
70% of our immune cells live in the digestive system.Most of our serotonin is made in the gut.
Stress can affect and change gut bacteria. This can change the health of the gut and also how we feel. So, it’s a chicken and egg situation. Is the gut causing the stress or is the stress causing the gut problem? If you don’t know, then it makes sense to consider both. Treating the mind and body instead of isolating bits. This is one of the principles of naturopathic medicine.
Get Those Muscles Moving
Peristalsis is the name for the muscle movement of the bowel. It’s a wave of contraction,that passes along the bowel and takes the bowel contents along with it. Sometimes this process can get sluggish, or the bowel doesn’t seem to know when to initiate it. You need the muscles to contract and move the food along.
Think of how many muscles you have in your abdomen. If you are a lazy bones and have poor muscle tone, it will affect your digestive transit time . Being physically active will help. Try to do this every day. Go for a walk do some stretches and twists. You can google yoga poses that may help. There’s a wind-relieving pose that may be a good one to start with.
Bile, the green stuff our liver produces, is one of the triggers for peristalsis. If a person has their gall bladder removed, it affects bile flow. This can slow the bowel and cause constipation. You may have a gall bladder and still have sluggish bile flow, because your liver isn’t producing bile to order, or eating on the run is reducing the ‘volume’ of the signal to the liver. Sit down to eat. Relax. Chew…
Other signs that your bile flow is paltry: you may feel too full after meals, and be super-farty.
If you can’t get your hands on exotic lettuce, A.Vogel’s Digestisan will work just as well. It contains the herbal ‘bitters’, dandelion and artichoke. You take it 5-10 minutes before each meal. It’s licensed for the relief of indigestion, bloating and flatulence.
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The Link Between Gut Health And Mental Health
In the past, researchers believed that mental health issues could create problems within the digestive system. Those who were anxious or depressed were more likely to experience stomach or intestinal disturbances. Thus, the answer to can stress causes constipation or stomach pain is, yes.
However, more recent studies show that it could be the other way around: gut health may affect mental health. In fact, many scientists believe that all disease begins in the gut.