5 Unexpected Side Effects Of Constipation

Constipation is a common problem in America and surveys have estimated that over 4 million people in the United States have frequent constipation and was the most common digestive complaint in the United States, outnumbering all other chronic digestive conditions.

While most people have experienced constipation some time or other, difficulty in emptying the bowels can lead to other effects and changes in your body. Here are 5 such effects you could experience.

Some of the common symptoms of constipation include:

Straining to pass a bowel movement
Feelings of incomplete defecation
Having small, dry and/or hard stools
Experiencing a feeling of ‘fullness’ in your rectum.

Side Effects Of Constipation

1. Breakouts

The is a direct link between your gut health and your overall health, which includes your skin. Constipation can be a sign that your inner ecosystem of gut flora is a little strained. And when our friendly flora isn’t in good condition, it can manifest with more than just constipation.

Skin conditions such as puffiness, acne, dark circles under the eyes and even rashes can all stem from internal gut issues. Your skin also performs some functions of elimination. Therefore, toxins that enter through the body through unhealthy foods, or accumulate during constipation, can cause zits and other blemishes.

2. Bad Breath

According to one Danish study, almost one-quarter of bad breath may be attributed to constipation. Other reports indicate that people with constipation commonly notice a bad taste in the mouth or recurrent episodes of bad breath.

However, the reasons for this link are not completely clear. One theory is that constipation may lead to the proliferation of toxic gut bacteria, which produce malodorous gases. The body works in strange ways but one thing is for sure. Everything that’s happening in your body is interconnected one way or the other. By doing a few basic diet changes, including more fiber, and exercising regularly, you can easily cure your constipation.

3. Hemorrhoids

Constipation creates a straining sensation when you attempt a bowel movement. Just like any muscle that is trying to carry a workload that is heavier than its capacity, there’s going to be some wear and tear. The length of our intestines is covered by smooth muscle fibers that propel food and waste along our digestive tract.

When these muscles are put under pressure, they also exert extra force on the veins which line the rectum. During constipation, these veins can be stretched beyond their normal capacity, so that they are no longer able to hold their shape and integrity.

4. Loss Of Appetite

It is common for many people with constipation to lose their appetite. When you’re constipated, eating food can feel like a total ‘turn off’. The digestive system is a finely-tuned, well-honed machine of interconnecting parts that are constantly feeding messages back to the brain and your organs. Every time you eat a meal, special nerves that line the inside of your stomach are stretched, which triggers something called a mass movement.

Mass movement is the reason why you get the urge to poo within half an hour of eating a big meal. As you eat, nerves in your stomach stretch and neuronal signals are sent to your bowels to say that it’s time to make more space by dumping the current load. With constipation, this feedback loop is interrupted. Instead of clearing space, your brain and stomach get signals that things are backed up. Just like any production line, it’s inefficient to keep adding more into the mix until congestion has cleared.

5. Headaches

Headaches can be caused by many things, and experts have now added constipation to the list of possible causal factors. One of the reasons could be stress. The pain, inconvenience, worry and pressure of being constipated – and feeling your insides continue to fill up, block and bloat – can truly cause a lot of stress.

Another reason could be dehydration which is a very common cause of constipation is dehydration. Your bowels need a sufficient supply of water to produce soft stools. When you’re not drinking enough water, fecal matter can become dry and compacted, creating the hard ‘pellets’ of poop that are common with constipation. While constipation does not directly cause headaches, the associated dehydration could.

It is also possible that headaches may be induced by toxin buildup during constipation. Your bowels are a major outlet for your body to eliminate toxic materials; if this waste is idling for longer than it should, it may be reabsorbed back into the body causing headaches.