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Myths and facts about constipation


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Constipation is one of the most common problems of the digestive system. If you are facing bowel problem continuously then it might become chronic; which will subsequently make you feel bloated, cause stomach and rectal pain, and many more symptoms.

However, constipation is surrounded by several misconceptions that people tend to believe in. So there could be a possibility that you might not be constipated but due to lack of proper knowledge you start uttering, “I have constipation problem”. It’s for this reason we have busted the myths and facts about constipation.


Myth: You are constipated if you don’t get bowels once in a day

Fact: As per doctors, constipation means less than three bowels in a week! We agree that regular bowel movements get you going, but skipping it a day or two, doesn’t make you constipated. Furthermore, some people tend to have bowels 2-3 times in a day.

However, to understand constipation you also need to watch out for other symptoms apart from irregularity in bowels and they are straining, rectal pain, burning in rectum, hard stool, and possibility of bleeding.


Myth: Chronic constipation is not a serious issue

Fact: If your doctor has given the nod that you are having constipation then you need to take care of it. Chronic constipation is definitely a serious health condition and ultimately you might need to undergo surgery to restore normal bowels and alleviate the discomfort.


Myth: Constipation is the cause of many inflammatory diseases

Fact: The concept that deadly toxins accumulate in the stomach from constipation can cause colon cancer and autoimmune diseases, like arthritis is a total myth. There’s no proper factual evidence regarding piling of toxins in the body from stools. Thus, you need to get yourself diagnosed properly to know the exact reason behind the health complication you are suffering from.


Myth: Eating loads of fibres solves constipation

Fact: A paradox lies here. While consuming fibres sort constipation, too much eating can induce constipation. Fibre is the only undigested food that reaches your colon. When you eat too much of dietary fibre, especially from animal sources or the insoluble types, constipation is bound to happen.

Another theory is, overdose of fibre interferes with your bowel movement if you do not consume sufficient water. The solution is to incorporate a certain amount of dietary fibre everyday in your diet to experience smooth bowels.


Myth: Lack of exercise, insufficient water and fibre consumptions are the only causes of constipation

Fact: Although these are the most common reasons behind hardening of stool, there are several other reasons associated with constipation. It could be side effects of medicines, like antidepressants, antacids, pain killers, vitamin supplements, etc. and surgery. Constipation can occur from depression, neurological problems, and inflammatory conditions like inflammatory bowel disease.


Myth: Holding or delaying bowel doesn’t cause constipation

Fact: A lot of people have smooth bowel movements because they are regular with the time and they don’t hold on the urge. Postponing bowels or neglecting the need is also a reason behind irregular bowels and hard stools. This habit gradually leads to constipation. Therefore, feel free to access the washroom whenever you require, unless you don’t have a choice but waiting.


Myth: Laxative are the only cure for constipation

Fact: Laxatives help to loosen stool and regularize bowels. Doctors prescribe laxatives when you are severely constipated. However, under no circumstance they are the only cure for constipation. Taking laxatives for a long term makes you dependent on them and reverses the condition instead, i.e. you get bowels only when you take laxatives.

Thus, it’s important to seek your doctor’s advice for solving your bowel problems and not initiate anything based on popular beliefs.

Written by: healthplus24.com team
Date last updated: March 27, 2014