Is Constipation Causing an Irritated Anus?
Unless you are at the peak of physical fitness, then the chances are you may have suffered from constipation at some time or other. It can be caused by a variety of things, including a sedentary lifestyle and bad eating habits. The problem is that straining to go to the toilet can also cause irritation to the rectum and give rise to pain or itching that can be worse than the actual constipation itself.
Causes of constipation
The everyday causes of constipation are usually to do with our diet or lifestyle:
Lack of fibre: It’s found in vegetables, pulses, fruit and whole grains and if you don’t get enough in your diet the likelihood is that your bowel movements are going to slow down. Check your diet and leave the junk food on the supermarket shelves where it belongs.
Lack of exercise: Sitting around doesn’t do us any good. The reason many of us suffer from constipation is that we don’t exercise enough. We’re sat at our desks all day or come home tired and just want to slump down in front of the TV. Try and get at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise, such as walking or cycling, a day.
Lack of fluid: Rather than buying some laxative tablets to cure that bout of constipation, go to the kitchen tap and drink some water. Keeping your fluid levels up not only keeps you hydrated and alert but also helps to lubricate your bowels and maintain a healthy stomach. Drink plenty and your bowel movements will improve.
De-stress: One of the biggest causes of constipation is living a stressful lifestyle. It has more effects on us than just pushing up that old blood pressure – stress can lead us to get into bad habits such as poor diet and drinking too much alcohol.
Take the stress out of work by learning to meditate or finding more ways not to worry about every little thing.
Having the right place to go to the loo: It might sound strange but many of us like to go to the toilet in our own home, a comfortable and familiar environment. If you are away from home for a period of time it may well effect your toilet habits and lead to constipation developing.
Do hormones have a role? Many women complain that they get constipated just before their period each month. Pregnancy also causes the release of progesterone that leads to a slowing down of the bowel and can lead to constipation. Maintaining a healthy diet and drinking plenty of water can ease both of these problems.
One myth about constipation is that it leads to a build-up of toxins in the body. Fortunately, there is no evidence to support this and probably arises from the discomfort people feel when they are ‘full’. The one thing that straining to go to the toilet can cause is an embarrassing itch afterwards. The good news is that it is easy to sooth with an anal cream that keeps the area free from bacteria and takes the edge off the irritation.