Saturday, November 27

Toilet habits have a major impact on constipation

Robert Klatt

Constipation can be caused not only by a poor diet or illness, but also by stress and individual toilet habits.

Madrid (Spain). In Germany around a third of the population suffers from constipation at times. One chronic constipation, i.e. complaints that have occurred for at least three months in the last six months, occur in a quarter of those over 60 years of age. The consequences of infrequent bowel movements, which occur less than three times a week, are abdominal pain and hard stools. Often, constipation also occurs in connection with uncomfortable flatulence.

There are many causes of constipation. In addition to illness, diet can also cause constipation. Doctors therefore often advise those affected to increase their fluid intake, eat a healthy diet with sufficient fiber, and take regular exercise to encourage bowel movements. Studies have also shown that behavior around the toilet can prevent constipation.

Chronic constipation due to everyday behavior?

However, in people with chronic constipation, these steps are usually not enough to combat constipation. In the meantime, therefore, drugs have been used Treatment of constipation established, which are used with success by many of those affected. Scientists from the Santa Elena Clinic and the Hospital Clinico Universitario San Carlos have now investigated whether, in addition to the known causes, other risk factors promote the development of chronic constipation.

According to their publication in the specialist magazine Turkish Journal of Gastroenterology The researchers randomly distributed questionnaires to 910 of 4,466 employees at a Spanish clinic, who were asked to fill them out anonymously. 415 (45.6%) of the questionnaires were answered. Women (71.3%) were significantly more represented than men (28.7%). On average, the participants in the survey were 43.8 years old.

Constipation more common in women

100 respondents (24.1%) said they had constipation. According to the sample, age has no influence on this. However, there are differences in the gender distribution. Accordingly, significantly more women (31.8%) than men (5%) are affected.

Laxatives and digestive aids

There are also gender-specific differences in the use of laxatives and digestive aids. Overall, ten percent of those surveyed said they used laxatives, for women it was 12.2 percent and for men 4.2 percent. The study participants also used enemas (2%), suppositories (5.3%) and manual maneuvers to induce bowel movements (8%).

Differences in toilet and eating habits

As part of the questionnaire, data on toilet and eating habits were also collected.

Living situation, eating and toilet habits of the survey participants

Factor Men (share in percent) Women (share in percent)
Water absorption (> 1.5 liters) 65,5 55,1
High fiber diet 68,9 75,3
Exercise 50,4 42,9
Regular toilet times 63,0 48,3
Delaying bowel movements 35,3 46,6
Defecation outside of your own four walls 79,8 51,7
Stress 32,8 56,1

As the data show, women have regular toilet times significantly less often than men. In addition, they go to the toilet significantly less often outside of their own home and are therefore more reluctant to defecate when, for example, they are at work. The study also reveals that women are more affected by stress than men. Previous studies have already been able to provide indications that stress also has a significant effect on digestion and thus the development of constipation.

Risk factors for constipation

In summary, the data of the study show that the amount of water you drink, a high-fiber diet and regular exercise are not significantly related to the absence or presence of constipation. On the other hand, there is a significant correlation in the individual habits of defecating. Avoiding unfamiliar toilets and frequently delaying bowel movements in particular greatly increases the risk of constipation. The study also shows that stress is a major influencing factor on normal intestinal rhythms. Stress in the professional environment in particular can lead to constipation.

Risk factors for increased risk of constipation

  • Stress at work or at home
  • Delaying bowel movements
  • Female gender

Constipation Prevention Habits

  • Regular use of the toilet
  • Toilet visits also outside of your own home

Turkish Journal of Gastroenterology, doi: 10.5152/tjg.2018.17533

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *