If you’re feeling uncomfortable, bloated, and you’re not going as often as you usually do, this may be due to constipation. This is often an embarrassing topic, but in truth you are not alone in this ordeal. As a matter of fact, over four million Americans deal with constipation almost regularly. Women, however, experience this more than men because food moves slowly in their intestines. Plus, you can blame the female hormones that affect the gastrointestinal tract.

Constipated? Don't worry. Help is here.
Constipated? Don’t worry. Help is here.

Whether you are a man or a woman, there is one reason why you find it difficult to poop. Knowing what has caused your constipation can help you find the right remedy for this problem.

Are You Dehydrated?

If your answer is yes, the solution here is to obviously drink more water. It’s generally easy to determine whether you are dehydrated or not, but if you don’t know, here are the common symptoms:

• You have a dry and sometimes sticky mouth.
• You are sleepy and tired.
• You don’t urinate much.
• You have a headache.
• You are lightheaded or dizzy.

Drink at least eight glasses of water each day to prevent constipation in the future.

Did You Eat Anything with High Fiber Content?

Rice bran, corn, and wheat are among the foods that are high in fiber. These foods actually help you prevent constipation. However, if you are dehydrated and you eat high-fiber foods, this will only cause difficulty in pooping. In this case, you should be able to strike a balance between water in your body and fiber consumption.

Are You Stressed Out?

If something happened at work or at home and you also don’t get enough sleep, stress can cause you to get constipated because your enteric nervous system can affect your GI system. Try to de-stress and have enough sleep to avoid constipation.

Do You Have Hypothyroidism?

When your thyroid gland is underactive, you have hypothyroidism and this can affect your bowel movement as it slows down your metabolism and your gut as well. Note though that not everyone with this health condition experience constipation and not all constipation cases mean that the person has hypothyroidism. Still, most doctors recommend getting a checkup for your thyroid gland, particularly if you often have constipation.

Are You on Painkillers?

Painkillers, most especially narcotics, can cause you to suffer from constipation. Many of the narcotic drug receptors are found in the digestive tract. In this case, when you take pain meds, everything stops in that particular part of the body. In general, doctors advise patients to use a gentle laxative if they are on pain medication. Meanwhile, there are studies that show how chronic intake of aspirin and ibuprofen can cause constipation.

Did You Eat Chocolates?

Chocolates can help people with constipation, but there are others who experience the opposite. According to a 2005 study, there were respondents who claimed their irritable bowel syndrome or chronic constipation was caused by chocolates as well as black tea and bananas. If this is the culprit in your case, you may want to cut back on these sweets.

Are You Going to Travel?

If you’re going on vacation, chances are you changed your diet before the flight. Then when you arrive at your destination, there is a huge possibility that you will eat something that you are not used to. These two instances can cause you to be constipated. The best solution here is to have enough fiber and stay hydrated as well.

When Did You Last Exercise?

If you used to exercise a lot and you suddenly stop, there is a huge chance that you will end up becoming constipated. This is because the change will affect your body, mainly the intestines that process food. If you are constipated, try moving more.

Do You Have a Chronic Health Condition?

If you keep having constipation, it is possible that you have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). This is actually a common disorder, which can cause you to either have diarrhea or constipation. There are medications for IBS, but the best method of cure is to go straight to a doctor.

If you are pregnant, one of the early signs is constipation. Some women experience it till the end of the pregnancy. For those who are not pregnant, constipation is uncomfortable, but it definitely can be cured.