Do you often experience a problem during bowel movements or have trouble keeping your stomach clean? If yes, it is important to take the necessary measures as it can give rise to several health conditions.
Constipation is a common health condition that can affect people of all ages. You may have constipation if you have bowel motions less than three times per week or if they are uncomfortable and challenging. It can be caused due to lack of fibre consumption, dehydration, stress, inactivity, and some medications. In most cases it is often taken lightly, however, it can give rise to many health conditions like haemorrhoids and urinary tract infections if not treated on time.
We spoke to our expert Dr Rakesh Patel, Consultant Gastroenterology, Fortis Hospital, Kalyan, who listed health issues that can rise due to constipation.
Health Issues Caused Due To Constipation
Haemorrhoids, also called piles, are inflamed veins in the rectum or anus that can be painful, itchy, and bleeding. The regular symptom of straining during bowel movements can lead to haemorrhoids by putting more pressure on the veins in the anus and rectum. Chronic constipation has the tendency to permanently expand the veins, which makes haemorrhoids more likely to form.
Anal fissures are tiny breaks in the skin that can itch, bleed, and cause pain near the anus. Anal fissures can develop due to constipation because it makes bowel motions difficult and uncomfortable, which puts strain on the anal region and causes stress. Anal fissures can be acute or chronic, and they increase the risk of acquiring other anal illnesses, such as haemorrhoids and fistulas.
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Urinary Tract Infections (UTI)
Another health condition that can be caused due to constipation is urinary tract infections. The urethra, the tube that removes urine from the body from the bladder, can become clogged with faeces during constipation, which increases the risk of acquiring UTIs. Infection may result from the introduction of microorganisms to the urinary system. UTIs can cause abdominal pain, frequent urination, murky or pungent urine, and pain or burning when urinating.
Were you aware that constipation can also result in bad breath? This condition is called halitosis and is caused due to the accumulation of faecal matter in the colon. The stool can putrefy and release foul-smelling gases that can ascend the digestive tract and exit the mouth if it stays in the colon for an extended period. In addition, dehydration, which can happen as a result of constipation, can also result in bad breath.
Faecal impaction happens when a large and hard lump of faeces gets caught in the rectum and makes it difficult or impossible to pass. This health condition can result in bowel obstruction, a potentially fatal condition that needs immediate medical care, as well as cause excruciating pain, bloating, and nausea. Faecal impaction can happen to anybody who has persistent constipation, although it is more common in older adults and those with neurological conditions.
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If chronic constipation is not diagnosed in time it can even result in malnutrition. This happens because constipation prevents the absorption of water, electrolytes, and other nutrients, causing deficiencies, when stool stays in the colon for an extended period. As a result, there is a rise in other health problems, such as weakness, exhaustion, weakened immune systems, and slower wound healing.
If you have been taking constipation lightly, now is the time to stop it. You should consult with your doctor and take the necessary measures to treat this health condition. It is also important to maintain a healthy diet and keep yourself hydrated to prevent constipation.