Chronic Constipation Causes

chronic constipation causes

Constipation is defined by the slow passage of digesting food through the digestive system, most often in the colon. There are a variety of causes behind the slowing down of digesting food through the digestive tract.

In many instances, constipation is caused by medications. The following are common medications that can cause constipation:

  • antidepressants – (, ), ()
  • narcotic pain medications – (), codeine (Tylenol #3), ()
  • iron supplements
  • anticonvulsants – (), ()
  • aluminum-containing antacids – aluminum carbonate (Basaljel), aluminum hydroxide suspension (Amphojel)
  • calcium channel blocking drugs (CCBs) – nifedipine (Procardia), diltiazem (Cardizem)

Other medications can cause constipation as well. You may not need to discontinue the medication. Sometimes, you may just need more fibre in your diet, as an example. You could also try substituting your medication for one that is less prone to cause constipation.

Another potential cause of constipation is holding your bowel movements when you need to go. If you resist the urge to go to the washroom too often, the urge may disappear altogether and result in constipation.

Not getting enough fibre in your diet is another potential cause of constipation. To get more fibre in your diet, try eating lots of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

Laxatives are normally used to help with constipation. However, it is possible that overuse of them can damage the nerves and muscles in the colon, resulting in further constipation. This is not definitively proven, but a good thing to keep in mind.

Hormones are another thing that affects bowel movements. Too little thyroid hormone or too much parathyroid hormone may result in constipation. High levels of estrogen and progesterone during pregnancy may also result in constipation. The same goes for during a woman’s menstrual periods. However, in these cases, it is most likely a temporary condition.

Featured image: piotr_marcinski via DepositPhotos

Posted on May 5, 2023