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Intestine & digestion

Constipation: causes and solutions

May 7, 2019

Most women suffer from it but constipation is a disorder that affects two out of ten people when there are less than 3 meetings with the toilet in a week. Not everyone who thinks they are suffering from this problem does, however, really have it. To understand what the symptoms of constipation really are and to learn how to fight it with some tricks we talked about it with Prof. Silvio Danese, Head of the Centre for Chronic Bowel Diseases at the Humanitas Institute in Milan and professor at Humanitas University.


The most common causes of constipation

“The first indication is always that aimed at changing eating habits, increasing the introduction of fiber with the diet up to 20-35 grams per day – said Dr. Danese -, especially if we talk about a subject who has less than 3 evacuations per week to which generally are associated effort during defecation, hard stools or feeling of incomplete evacuation”. Among the most common causes of constipation there are also the lack of hydration, the intake of certain drugs, including antidepressants, iron, opioids or temporary changes in eating habits and life.

Diet plays a fundamental role in genesis as well as in the treatment of this problem. Too much animal fat, sugar and inadequate fiber intake stimulates constipation.

Even the abuse of laxatives that end up causing addiction can lead the intestine to stop working properly and develop constipation.

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Hormones and other issues

Hormonal changes during pregnancy, before the menstrual cycle and in menopause can cause constipation, as well as the presence of diseases such as hypothyroidism, Lupus, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease and all post-inflammatory stenosis in Crohn’s disease. In the presence of colon tumors and irritable colon syndrome constipation often alternates with diarrhea.


Bad habits

Repressing the stimulus of defecation when it occurs, over time can lead to a slowdown in intestinal transit and constipation. In fact, the main function of the colon is to absorb the water present inside it. Excessive reabsorption of water causes stool hardening and fewer evacuations.

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