Constipation simply means uncomfortable and infrequent bowel movements with difficulty in passing stools (feces). It is a condition in which you have fewer than three bowel movements a week with mostly hard and dry stools. 

Most often, constipation is not a cause of an underlying disease. It is a side-effect of a stressful and unhealthy lifestyle in adults and working professionals. Constipation is technically defined as “having fewer than three bowel movements a week”.

Constipation often leads you to an unsatisfied feeling of not being able to clear your bowels. Constipation, although not a painful affair, can make you irritated and disrupt your routine activities. Constipation can be treated with certain dietary and lifestyle changes like drinking more water, including fiber-rich foods, and leading an active lifestyle.

While constipation can be resolved in 2 to 3 days, frequent episodes of constipation can have an effect on your overall health. There are certain unexpected side effects of constipation that you should be aware of. 

Here is a list of 5 such side-effects:

1. Constipation Can Result in Headaches

Did you ever imagine that out of so many other causative factors, constipation can also lead to headaches? Yes, you heard it right! Constipation is added to the list of possible causal factors of headaches by experts; the reason being stress due to constipation.

Having regular and smooth bowel movements is a must for all. 

The pain, inconvenience, worry, and pressure of being constipated - and feeling your insides continue to fill up block and bloat - can cause a lot of stress. These feelings of anxiety can trigger tension headaches (pain, and tightness, around your forehead or the back of your head and neck due to stress).

2. Constipation Can The Reason For Your Acne!

Did you know that your gut (stomach) health is directly related to your skin conditions? What goes on inside, often reflects on the outside.

Remember that constipation is often equated to poor gut health. Your gut consists of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bacteria (flora or microbes). The good bacteria absorb nutrients and minerals from your food and protects your stomach lining from infections. When you are constipated, your stomach lining is most probably inflamed and there can be an imbalance in the good and bad bacteria. 

As a result of this mess, your skin can suffer and you may see pop-ups of acne (commonly called pimples or breakouts), puffiness under your eyes, dark circles, and rashes, all of which are stemming from your gut. 

3. Constipation Can Leave You With a Bad Breath

Constipation is a result of bowel obstructions. A blockage in your intestinal tract (either small or large) can cause breath that smells like feces (poop), not only because of the feces trapped inside your intestines but also due to any more food that you eat cannot move down your intestinal tract. 

Food that remains inside your digestive tract can ferment and cause bad breath. Fermentation is a chemical process that changes the nature of food or drinks by the action of yeast or bacteria. 

Some studies show that one-quarter of bad breath can be attributed to constipation! If you wish to get rid of your bad breath, you will have to make sure you have regular bowel movements. 

4. Constipation Can Reduce Your Hunger

It is common for many people with constipation to lose their appetite. With your stomach bloated up and your abdomen feeling full at all times, constipation can lead to hunger suppression. Every time you sit to eat, you might not want to, thinking about feeling more sick after your meals.

The uncomfortable feeling of being stuffed and not passing a motion is not very appealing. Thus, when you are constipated, your appetite is lower and the urge to clear your blockage is higher. 

5. Constipation Can Give You Hemorrhoids (Piles)

Piles (haemorrhoids) are swellings that develop inside and around your back passage or the anal canal. When you are constipated, you have to work extra hard to move your food and stools out of your system. 

Just like when any machine or part of a machine is forced to bear and move an extra load, there is bound to be some wear and tear; similarly, constipation puts the muscles of your intestine into a strain. As a result of this pressure (especially due to prolonged constipation), the extra force on the anal canal can lead to swelling hence, to piles.

Constipation affects a lot of people and can impact your health seriously, if not corrected early. Consult your doctor for medication and home remedies to cure constipation. If nothing else, the above-listed side-effects should motivate you to keep moving, eating and sleeping on time, and staying stress-free to avoid recurrent constipation.


Disclaimer: This article is written by the Practitioner for informational and educational purposes only. The content presented on this page should not be considered as a substitute for medical expertise. Please "DO NOT SELF-MEDICATE" and seek professional help regarding any health conditions or concerns. Practo will not be responsible for any act or omission arising from the interpretation of the content present on this page.