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Can Chronic Constipation Cause Fatigue

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Know When To See A Doctor

What is chronic constipation and what causes it?

Sometimes simple changes are not enough. If yourconstipation doesnt respond to treatments or changes in your diet, and if itlasts for weeks or months, Dr. Zutshi recommends getting yourself checked outto exclude more serious medical causes.

Its especially important to see a professional if you haveother symptoms such as dizziness, fatigue, cramping or spasms.

Chronic constipation can be a sign of conditions such as:

  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Celiac disease
  • Irritable bowel syndrome

Opioid-induced constipation is its own entity and shouldalso be treated by a physician, Dr. Zutshi says.

Effects Of Constipation On Faecal Impaction

Faecal impaction is the result of chronic or severe constipation and is basically a bowel obstruction caused by poop that has hardened in the colon to the point that it is causing a solid blockage . Liquid stool can bypass the impacted poop, causing overflow incontinence, often mistaken for diarrhoea . In severe cases, faecal impaction can cause ulcers or bowel perforation. This is definitely one of the more severe side effects of constipation.

The Bioenergetics Circuit And Constipation

The bioenergetics circuitcomposed of the thyroid, pancreas, and liverof the NEM system is responsible for transferring energy to your cells and tissues. The thyroid gland regulates your basal metabolic rate, the pancreas secretes insulin to regulate glucose levels, and the liver is your bodys main detoxifier. Your metabolism creates chemical reactions in your cells that convert food into energy but also plays a role in managing stress.

In fact, your metabolism is activated alongside the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axisa hormone cascade that stimulates your adrenal glands to secrete cortisol and other important anti-stress hormones. The bioenergetics circuit increases your basal metabolic rate to prepare your body to flee or fight and keep your brain alert when it senses dangerreal or perceived.

Optimal functioning of the bioenergetics circuit will help your body defend itself from the symptoms of stress and oxidative damage by helping your body to properly detoxify and control inflammation. The bioenergetics circuit also ensures your brain has enough glucose and your body has enough energy to function normally.

With chronic constipation, your bioenergetics circuit may suffer. First of all, constipation disrupts digestion and absorption, thereby depleting your cells of necessary nutrients and energy they need.

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Effects Of Constipation On Poor Immunity

Our intestinal flora is responsible for much of the bodys immune response, including the removal of cell debris, viruses, bacteria, and cancerous cells . As constipation is often associated with missing or damaged bacteria , the impact on your immune system can be significant. The toxic buildup and inflammation associated with constipation can also impair the immune system and leave you vulnerable to infections like urinary tract infections – heres a post about how to heal a UTI naturally.

How To Address Chronic Constipation


If your constipation stems from an unhealthy diet, dehydration, and a sedentary lifestyle, the changes you need to make are obvious. Most people would agree that eating more fruit is beneficial since fruit has a high water content, contain lots of vitamins and minerals, and plenty of fiber. Fruit is great for constipation as well but some fruits contain a lot of sugar and if you suffer from adrenal fatigue, youll be more sensitive to sugar spikes and crashes than the average person. Spikes and crashes will place more stress on your adrenals.

The same goes for increasing your water intake. With AFS, your sodium-potassium ratio is usually unbalanced, and your body lacks sodium relative to potassium. Drinking more water will dilute your sodium levels even more and exacerbate this imbalance. Therefore, increasing your water intake gradually is recommended, and you may even want to add a sprinkle of salt into your water.

If you suffer from adrenal fatigue, exercise could place more pressure on your adrenals instead of relieving them. Its best to start with gentle exercises like adrenal breathing, adrenal yoga, and a small amount of walking and when youre feeling strong enough, you can add some light cardio and strength training.

The great thing is that if you address your AFS, your chronic constipation is likely to resolve on its own. The adrenal fatigue diet is anti-inflammatory and can improve your hormone balance, which can help support your bioenergetics circuit.

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Can Opiates Cause Chronic Fatigue

Opiates are highly addictive narcotic medications that work in the brain to help relieve pain. These substances bind to the opioid receptors in the brain to depress the central nervous system. Opiates tell your body that you are not really in pain. When taken, they produce a sense of calm, relaxation, and euphoria.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse says:

Opioids are a class of drugs naturally found in the opium poppy plant. Some prescription opioids are made from the plant directly, and others are made by scientists in labs using the same chemical structure. Opioids are often used as medicines because they contain chemicals that relax the body and can relieve pain. Prescription opioids are used mostly to treat moderate to severe pain, though some opioids can be used to treat coughing and diarrhea. Opioids can also make people feel very relaxed and high which is why they are sometimes used for non-medical reasons. This can be dangerous because opioids can be highly addictive, and overdoses and death are common. Heroin is one of the worlds most dangerous opioids, and is never used as a medicine in the United States.

Your body has natural endorphins to help you recognize, reduce, and cope with physical pain. When someone continues to use opiates long-term, the natural process decreases and eventually stops. When the body stops producing these natural endorphins, higher and higher doses of opiates are required to prevent uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.

Effects Of Constipation On Anxiety And Depression

Mood and anxiety disorders have long been scientific bedfellows with constipation and other gastrointestinal disorders . And while constipation is often thought to be the symptom, recent neuroscientific research has begun to show the importance of intestinal flora in the development of brain symptoms . So, theres even more reason you might be feeling low if you cant go to the loo. And it’s these kinds of side effects of constipation that people aren’t often aware of that make a huge difference to our everyday lives.

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Summary: Side Effects Of Constipation

In summary, the side of effects of constipation include:

  • Fatigue

  • Brittle nails and thinning hair

  • Poor immunity

  • Hosseinzadeh, S. T., Poorsaadati, S., Radkani, B., & Forootan, M. . Psychological disorders in patients with chronic constipation. Gastroenterology and Hepatology From Bed to Bench, 4, 159163

  • Evrensel, A., & Ceylan, M. E. . The Gut-Brain Axis: The Missing Link in Depression. Clinical Psychopharmacology and Neuroscience, 13, 239244

  • Galland, L. . The Gut Microbiome and the Brain. Journal of Medicinal Food, 17, 12611272

  • Change In Bowel Habits Chills Constipation And Fatigue

    Chronic Constipation: Causes & Treatments – Dr. Ebube Nwaigwe

    Reviewed on 12/1/2020

    A change in bowel habits, including constipation, can be related to dietary changes or to conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome. Fatigue is a nonspecific symptom, that can occur with a wide variety of illnesses. Chills can accompany conditions that cause fever and inflammation. These symptoms may or may not be related to the same condition. Contact your doctor any time you are experiencing worrisome symptoms.

    While the list below can be considered as a guide to educate yourself about these conditions, this is not a substitute for a diagnosis from a health care provider. There are many other medical conditions that also can be associated with your symptoms and signs. Here are a number of those from MedicineNet:

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    Nutrition And Dietary Supplements

    Consuming additional fiber through the use of supplements can have a positive effect on long-term constipation. Its best, however, to check with your doctor before adding any supplements to your daily diet. Psyllium, a soluble fiber that comes from the shrub-like herb Plantago ovata, can help relieve constipation. The reaction between the psyllium husk and water forms a gelatin-like mass that helps move stool through the intestines. Another soluble fiber, glucomannan, is derived from the root of Amorphophallus konjac. Some studies have shown that it, too, can be helpful with resolving chronic constipation. Although probiotics help to keep the intestines healthy and in good working order, studies using them to treat constipation have yielded mixed results. Some of the most common types of probiotics include Lactobacillus, Bifidobacteria, and Saccharomyces boulardii.

    Effects Of Constipation On Fatigue

    Constipation and fatigue go hand-in-hand, with strong evidence for a connection between the two . A dysbiosis caused by constipation can increase the fermentation of carbohydrates and the production of various gases, including super smelly hydrogen sulphide thought to cause dysfunction of the mitochondria – the energy producers within our cells . A lack of healthy flora in the gut can also decrease the absorption of nutrients required for energy and normal physiological function . Impaired detoxification of toxic substances that can enter the bloodstream may also impact energy levels and cause fatigue.

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    Tips To Avoid Constipation Naturally

    Have you noticed any changes in your digestive system when you get stressed? Symptoms like constipation or mild diarrhea are very common. Symptoms like these are just another example of how emotional stress can lead to real physical changes. They are both fairly common symptoms of adrenal fatigue.

    Constipation is not only uncomfortable, but can be extremely unhealthy if it continues for a long time. If you experience constipation during times of stress, or during the treatment of your adrenal fatigue, there are a number of tips that can help.

    The best strategy is to avoid episodes of constipation altogether! That means eating a healthy diet, avoiding or reducing stress, and drinking lots of liquids. The following tips are simple to implement and should help to keep you constipation-free!

    How Does Endometriosis Cause Personality Changes

    10 Causes Of Constipation (And What To Do About It)

    Endometriosis, specifically the pain and fatigue it causes, shapes many individuals’ attitudes, states of mind, and personalities. Patients will find themselves having to miss out on the day-to-day activities and events that normally, not only make them happy but also provide a healthy balance in their life. Because the pain and fatigue are real, it affects the brain and can change its functions. It is not uncommon for patients suffering from pain and fatigue to also battle with mental health challenges such as anxiety and depression. These symptoms can cause a feeling of hopelessness that is unique to endometriosis patients.

    Patients can also find themselves feeling like they are not allowed to have any outward signs of their pain and suffering. They may give in to the taboos and negative connotations that surround the idea of painful periods that induce constant fatigue, and in turn, may block their pain despite the distress it causes. These patients may continue their day to day activities, while silently suffering throughout the day. However, it is important to stress that symptoms should not be pushed to the side. These symptoms of pain, fatigue, and personality changes are real and your bodys way of saying that something is wrong. It is important to listen and seek proper consultation.

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    Get Moving To Get Things Moving

    Many people have experienced constipation when, for example, spending time in hospital or long hours in the office.

    Adopting a regular exercise routine, even just a brisk walk at the beginning and end of each workday, can do wonders for your overall health. It may also help to strengthen the muscles that encourage peristalsis in the digestive tract.

    Digestive Issues And Toxicity Levels

    Digestive issues can be the cause or the result of unresolved chronic constipation. For example, constipation is a symptom of irritable bowel syndrome , inflammatory bowel disease , ulcerative colitis, diverticulitis, and slowed motility.

    Slowed motility is quite important when it comes to adrenal fatigue. If the symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome are not addressed, the condition can progress further. During the initial stages, your energy levels drop quickly and then, as the thyroid gland and adrenal glands slow down, your basal metabolic rate is lowered to conserve energy. This slows digestion and intestinal motility, which can cause stools to accumulate in your digestive tract.

    The accumulation of waste and lack of timely elimination from your body inevitably increases toxicity levels. Occasionally, toxins cross the blood-brain barrier, resulting in brain fog and anxiety, and the buildup of toxins can also increase your risk of IBS, food and drug sensitivities, and yeast infections.

    In response, your liver and kidneys have to work harder to eliminate toxins that would normally leave your body naturally with regular bowel movements. Inflammation also increases as your body continues to attack the accumulated toxins.

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    Mitochondrial Failure And Cfs

    Dr. Sarah Myhill and colleagues have proposed that CFS is linked to “mitochondria failure” . Mitochondria use fuel molecules derived from food to produce energy by oxidative metabolism in the form of adenosine triphosphate or ATP, which when hydrolysed to the disphosphate, ADP, releases energy to produce muscle contractions, nerve impulses and all the energy-consuming processes needed to synthesize all of the complex molecules of the body. ATP recycles approximately every 10 seconds in a healthy individual. However, when mitochondria are impaired the energy they supply will be impaired and so the individually has poor stamina, as in CFS. Also, when a cell is filled with defective mitochondria, it not only becomes deprived of energy . It can accumulate a backlog of unused fuel molecules and oxygen with disastrous effects. If the body is short of ATP, it can make a very small amount directly from glucose by converting it into lactic acid. This is exactly what many individuals with CFS do. They readily switch into anaerobic metabolism . However, this results in serious problems.

    Practical Tips To Reduce Ibs Fatigue

    Constipation: Causes and Symptoms – Mayo Clinic

    So what do you do if you find yourself listless and weary?

    • Take care of the basics first eat a balanced, healthy diet and get some exercise in the fresh air.
    • Avoid screens at least an hour before bed as the stimulation and light can keep you awake. If you have to use your phone, laptop or tablet use the night light or blue shade setting to warm the colors on-screen.
    • Quitting smoking can help both your sleep and your bowels as nicotine is a stimulant.
    • Cognitive behavioral therapy for chronic fatigue can help patients feel more in control of their symptoms and provide you with some useful coping strategies. Its a form of talking treatment that can help you build up your activities carefully and address your behaviors and thinking to cultivate a more positive outlook.

    Check for a Vitamin or Mineral Deficiency

    Recent research has shown that a lack of vitamin D may be common in IBS sufferers and a lack of this vitamin could also cause a lack of energy.

    Deficiency may be caused by our lifestyles as vitamin D is made naturally when we go out in the sun, so if you spend all day indoors or live somewhere gloomy, you could consider taking a supplement.

    The recommended daily dose of vitamin D in the USA is 600IU for anyone up to the age of 70 and 800IU for those over 70, although some organizations recommend higher amounts.

    Other nutrients necessary for energy include iron and vitamin B12 these deficiencies can be picked up by a simple blood test.

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    Lack Of Physical Activity

    A sedentary lifestyle may lead to abdominal pain and constipation. Regular physical activity reduces the amount of time it takes food to move through the gut.

    Exercise also increases heart rate and the contraction of muscles throughout the body, including those in the intestines. When intestinal muscles contract, they help push stool along.

    A on adolescents from Hong Kong suggests that there is a dose-response relationship between physical activity and constipation, with symptoms improving as a person does more exercise.

    Therapeutic Restoration Of Mucosal Barrier Function

    Since altered intestinal microbiota and gut barrier dysfunction barrier are found in CFS , they offer potential targets for intervention that would include modulation of the gut microbiota to correct an imbalance, as well as tightening of interepithelial junctions. Enhancement of barrier function by probiotic bacteria has been observed in both in vitro models and in vivo animal models .

    Probiotics are live microorganisms with a vast array of therapeutic potential for GI disease. They have a beneficial effect on the intestinal mucosa via several proposed mechanisms that include inhibition of the mucosal adhesion of pathogens, improvement of the barrier function of the epithelium, and alteration of the immune activity of the host. They may also regulate intraluminal fermentation and stabilize the gut microbiota . In addition, probiotics have recently emerged as promising adjunctive therapy in treating IBS, with B. infantis becoming the frontrunner for treatment .

    Bifidobacteria appear to play an important role in maintaining the gut barrier. An increase in Bifidobacteria in ob/ob mice was associated with a significant improvement of gut permeability measured in vivo this improvement was linked to an increase in tight junction mRNA expression and protein distribution . In addition, the rise in Bifidobacteria was correlated with a decrease in plasma LPS concentrations therefore, a significant reduction in markers of oxidative and inflammatory stress .

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    Make Time To Move Your Bowels

    Try waking up earlier to eat breakfast and then move yourbowels. Food can stimulate the need to go, and you probably feel most relaxedin your home bathroom.

    But dont get toorelaxed in there the more time you spend on the toilet, the more likely you areto strain for bowel movements. Do not take your cell phone into the bathroomwith you, or work on your computer or read a book, Dr. Zutshi advises.

    And if you feel the urge to go when youre out an about,dont avoid using a public restroom. Delaying a bowel movement can actuallymake constipation worse.

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