It’s a struggle 15 to 20 percent of the population are dealing with at any one time. So why aren’t we talking about it more?
People of all ages in all industries, from all backgrounds and all walks of life, encounter constipation. It doesn’t discriminate.
But it’s one of those health issues that’s inextricably linked to our lifestyle. And that’s fantastic news…because it means we can do something about it, if and when we’re struggling.
Just so we’re all on the same page, here are the most common causes: dehydration; extended illness; lack of fibre in the diet; a change in routine; and (unfortunately) not enough exercise. Certain types of medication – both prescription and over-the-counter, including some vitamin supplements – can bring about constipation, too.
However, according to Better Health Victoria, the nature of the causes indicate that a few certain types of people are more likely to be affected:
Shift workers, travellers and new nursing home residents.
Shift workers, for example, are forced to turn their daily routine on its head every few weeks. This can affect the amount of water they’re drinking, their meal times, and the amount of exercise they might be able to get – because we all know that finishing work at 10pm is a fantastic excuse not to go to the gym.
That means, sometimes they will need help to restore the body’s natural rhythm, as their digestive system may well be left reeling each time they’re thrown from the day shift into the depths of midnight work.
Travellers and new nursing home residents are also liable to suffer from constipation because of the change of routine. Generally, constipation is more common in older people, due to less intestinal muscle contractions and a reliance on regular medications, according to Better Health Victoria.
Pregnant women are prone to struggle, too. The influx of pregnancy hormones during the first and second trimester tends to slow down the speed at which food is transported through the gut.
And, as pregnant women tend to get bigger and a little bit less mobile towards the end of their third trimester, staying active becomes a difficult task indeed. It only makes sense that as they slow down, so too do their bodies.