Causes of Constipation

Big Constipating Problem

Constipation Statistics in USA by NIDDK

What are the causes of constipation? Are there constipating foods? And how can you overcome this problem? It is much easier to overcome it by first knowing the causes of it. First, is it a problem? Yes, a big problem!

In North America, people spend around US$900 million on laxatives. Oh, what a big constipating problem that is! This does not mean there is much less of a constipation problem in other countries.

What is Constipation? 

Constipation is the result of waste matter sitting in the large intestines for a longer period. As it sits in the colon, more water is absorbed. This results in hard, dehydrated feces which cannot move easily.

Here are some common causes of constipation.

Common Causes of Constipation

Lack of Water

Do you hate to drink water? Do you only like to take coffee, tea or soft drinks? Pure water is important for moving your bowels.

A function of the colon is to absorb water from the waste that passes through it.

When you drink less water and as more water is absorbed, stools become dry and hard. Bowel movements become sluggish.

Bad Dietary Habits

Bad Dietary Habits

Are constipating foods part of your diet? Do you love junk food?

Have a good look at what you have been eating.

Fast-food, white flour products, white sugar products, processed meats, processed cheese and other processed food are the causes of constipation. They are constipating foods.

Heavy Meat Diet

Are you a heavy meat eater who hardly eats vegetables and fruits?

Humans have longer intestines and require a lot of fiber-rich foods, naturally found in vegetables and fruits, to move the food through the intestines.

If your diet is made up of mainly meat, you're prone to constipation. If you cut down on the meat, and replace it with enough raw vegetables and fruits, you will not normally suffer from constipation.

Not Eating Enough Bulk

Do you eat very small amounts of food?

Either the meals are too small in quantity, or there is not enough roughage or fiber in the meals that you are eating. Fiber-rich foods help move food and waste matter easily through the intestines. Fiber produces good bowel movements.

Suppressing the Urge to Go to Toilet

Do you have a tendency to postpone your trips to the toilet?

Postponing trips to the toilet, when it is time to defecate, is a major contributor to constipation. This keeps waste matter longer in the colon. More water is absorbed. This causes the stools to dry out and become hard.

The colon will find it difficult to push the hard stools into the rectum. Watch out as this is one of the causes of constipation that becomes habitual.

Health Conditions

Do you suffer from health problems, such as diabetes mellitus or hypothyroidism?

These diseases can cause constipation.

Or do you suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)?

If you suffer from IBS, then you will experience both constipation or diarrhea on and off.

In addition, there may arise structural obstructions such as either abnormal growth or narrowing of the colon or rectum. These can obstruct the passage of stools, and create constipation. They require medical help.


Do you get stressed out easily?

There seems to be a correlation between stress and constipation. This is related to "Suppressing the Urge to Go to Toilet" above.

When you are stressed due to work load, there is a tendency to postpone going to the toilet, and you may also postpone drinking adequate water.


Do you take any of the following medication?

Anti-depressants, diuretics, beta-blockers, pain-killers, anti-histamines or aluminum antacids?

The above medicines are believed to cause constipation.

Lack of Exercise

Do you hate to exercise?

It is believed that if you lack exercise, you are more prone to constipation.

Laxative Dependant

Are you dependant on laxatives?

Peristaltic movement is induced by a laxative. However, when the laxative is taken for a long time and then stopped, the normal peristaltic movement of the intestines is absent.

Last but not least......

Lack of Good Bacteria

Do you replace good intestinal bacteria that you may have lost, when you take laxatives and cleanse your colon often?

Taking laxatives and even doing colon cleansing often, can deplete healthy intestinal flora, which aids digestion and elimination. This is one of the major causes of constipation.

Replace these bacteria by taking probiotics. Or, drink yogurt daily, as it is a great source of healthy bacteria. Kefir can also replace the helpful flora in the intestines.

If you have answered yes to any of the above causes of constipation, then you have a constipation problem.

Main Cause of Constipation

A direct cause of constipation is a sluggish colon. And, the cause of a sluggish colon is the average American or Western diet. Let us take the number one culprit of today's Western influenced diet.

An average American diet could possibly consist of the following, although many are already changing to a more healthy lifestyle.

  • Breakfast: Ham and bacon and sausages
  • Lunch: Chicken casserole or a chicken burger
  • Dinner: Steak
  • Meat, thrice a day?

Is such a diet advisable? Even once a day, meat stays in the colon and the result is constipation.

Meat! The number one culprit that causes a sluggish colon, which results in  constipation.

As stated earlier, in North America, people spend around US$900 million on laxatives. This goes to show what a big problem, constipation is in the country.

Fast food made of meat burgers and coke, is found in every corner of town. Coke contains caffeine which is dehydrating and can cause constipation, as will coffee.

Animals like cows and lambs know when they are taken to the slaughter house and their  fear is passed onto those who eat them.

Why Does Meat Cause Constipation?

Human intestines are not equipped to digest meat. Period! Here's why...

A carnivore has a short and smooth colon. It is only three to six time the length of its body, and digested meat goes through it very fast. The left-over undigested meat has little time to putrefy and dry up.

Human intestines are not equipped to pass out the remnants of the meat easily. Our colon is longer than a carnivore's. Our colon is 10 to 12 times the length of our body, similar to a herbivore.

So, in a human being the undigested meat tends to sit for a longer time, collecting in the pocket-like structures along the walls of the colon, and starts rotting. As they stay longer in the colon, more water is absorbed and the stools dry up fast... this causes constipation!

Prevent Constipation

To overcome constipation:

  • Avoid eating constipating foods
  • Take a source of good bacteria
  • Eat fiber-rich foods like fruits and vegetables
  • Avoid eating meat
  • Drink a lot of water
  • Go to toilet as soon as you feel the urge
  • Exercise
  • Learn to relax

Constipation results in toxins in the colon that ultimately lead to auto-intoxication. Therefore to avoid such constipation problems and ultimately colon disease, you must be aware of the causes of constipation that create a sluggish colon.

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