Do you rarely use the restroom and strain when you go? Hard stools and an inability to fully empty the bowel are signs of constipation.
If you suspect you’re constipated and are unsure of what’s fact or fiction about treating it, read on. Below, we asked our team of highly skilled experts at Digestive Disease Consultants of Orange County in Orange County, California, to shine some light on the facts and debunk the myths about this common condition.
Fact: Dehydration can cause constipation
Do you drink enough water? Dehydration is one of the biggest causes of constipation, and certain medications, such as diuretics, can cause you to lose more water. Even caffeine can cause mild dehydration.
Fact: Diet isn’t the only reason you might be constipated
When discussing remedies for constipation, most people mention increasing fiber intake by eating more fruits and vegetables. However, diet isn’t the only contributing factor to constipation.
Other reasons for constipation include the use of narcotics, antidepressants, and antipsychotics, as well as some neurological conditions. Even iron supplements can cause constipation in some people.
Fact: Constipation can be dangerous
Abdominal compartment syndrome (ACS) is a rare but life-threatening condition in which pressure in the abdomen is so high due to the accumulation of fecal matter, that blood flow to the organs in the abdomen is restricted, causing organ failure.
In addition, chronic constipation can, in rare cases, be a sign of colon cancer. Early detection is key in improving your chances of beating the disease. So if you suffer from constipation regularly, it’s worth visiting the doctor.
Myth: More fiber always fixes the problem
Although the line that fiber is the solution for constipation has been repeated so many times that it appears to be gospel, excess fiber can sometimes make things worse.
If you are already constipated and feel nauseous, eating more fruits and vegetables may only add bulk to your feces. In addition, as mentioned before, not all constipation is caused by dietary choices.
Myth: You need to poop every single day
You’re considered constipated when your feces is hard and dry, and you use the restroom only about three times within a week. Skipping a day doesn’t necessarily mean you’re constipated.
Get relief from your constipation
Constipation, although uncomfortable, is rarely a cause for serious concern. However, if it persists, contact us to schedule an appointment.
Our highly-skilled team can help you find the root cause of your symptoms and provide you with quick relief. Treatment may include dietary changes, supplements, and medications.