Constipation is a very common gastrointestinal disorder characterized by irregular bowel movements, typically less than three bowel motions a week, due to the hardening of stools. Though intermittent constipation is typical, some people suffer from chronic constipation, which can impair their ability to do daily duties. Constipation becomes more common in women than men, especially in the elderly. Decreased stool action can cause other symptoms such as stomach pains, nausea, and lower back pain. In this blog, we will talk about the hot question, “can constipation cause nausea.”

What causes constipation?

Constipation is caused due to the following factors:

  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Unbalanced diet, particularly lack of dietary fibers
  • Dehydration
  • Depression
  • Physical inactivity

What are the symptoms of constipation?

The common constipation symptoms include: 

  • Abdominal pain
  • Sporadic bowel motions
  • Bloating
  • Swollen stomach
  • Hard or lumpy stools
  • Unable to fully empty your bowels
  • Requiring assistance to evacuate your rectum, such as with your fingers
  • fewer than three bowel movements each week

Can constipation cause nausea?

Can Constipation Cause Nausea?
Can Constipation Cause Nausea?

The constipation is uncomfortable, but it can be unbearable as it causes nausea.

When your colon isn’t performing properly, your entire gastrointestinal tract is thrown off track. Your bowel is involved in your body’s cleansing process. 

When food takes longer than usual to pass through your intestines, toxins accumulate in your body. These poisons are responsible for the sense of nausea. 

Nausea is a feeling of uneasiness in your stomach. It can give you a bad taste and make you want to vomit. Constipation can also cause stomach distention and bloating, which occurs as feces linger in your colon for an extended period. It causes a rise of germs in your colon, which causes nausea. The combination of nausea and constipation can be very unpleasant. Also, an empty stomach can cause nausea in some people.

Constipation and nausea can also occur due to:

  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Dehydration
  • Bowel Obstruction
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Certain medications such as:
    • Narcotics, like codeine and oxycodone
    • Blood pressure medications
    • Iron supplements
    • Antihistamines
    • Diuretics
    • Antidepressants

Also, Read Worst Foods That Cause Constipation.

How can constipation be treated?

Chronic constipation can cause complications; therefore, it is important to get the right treatment to help you live a better life. Here are some suggestions for you.

  • Fiber supplements: Increasing your fiber intake can help soften your stools. This can reduce straining and enhance bowel movement frequency. Adults should consume 21 to 38 grams of fiber each day. You can take fiber supplements or increase your consumption of fiber-rich foods like fresh fruits, vegetables, entire grains, barley, chickpeas, edamame, lentils and split peas, berries, apples, pears, etc.
  • Laxatives: Laxatives are excellent for inducing bowel movements. Stimulant laxatives cause intestinal contractions and increase bowel movement. On the other hand, osmotic laxatives promote bowel motion by allowing fluid to pass through the colon.
  • Stool Softeners: These are laxatives; however, they operate significantly differently. Rather than stimulating bowel movement, stool softeners moisten the stiff and dry feces. It makes bowel movements more convenient.
  • Enemas and Suppositories: These products eliminate rectal waste and cure constipation. They work by injecting fluid (such as soapsuds, water, and saline) into the lower gut or rectum to aid colon emptying. Although enemas and suppositories are helpful, they might cause nausea and diarrhea. If put in correctly, rectum perforation or internal injury is also possible.
  • Medications: When over-the-counter medicines fail to cure constipation, your doctor may recommend different prescription medications. These drugs function similarly to laxatives and stool softeners by attracting water into the intestines. Prescription medicines like Linzess (linaclotide), Resotran (prucalopride succinate), Amitiza (lubiprostone), and Constella (linaclotide).

A few lifestyle adjustments may also be beneficial:

  1. Increase your physical activity. Regular exercise for at least 30 to 45 minutes daily can help constipation.
  2. Maintain a dietary diary. It will assist you in identifying certain meals that cause constipation. 
  3. Drinking plenty of water will aid in the prevention of dehydration. Increase your intake of water, decaffeinated drinks, coffee, and juices.
  4. You should include fiber supplements, laxatives, stool softeners, suppositories, and enema kits in your daily life.

When should you see a doctor?

You must consult a doctor in any of the following cases.

  • Consult a doctor if your constipation persists after several months. It may be accompanied by significant pain, weight loss, or rectum bleeding, which should also be treated medically. 
  • Consult a doctor or gastroenterologist if you are experiencing constipation that interferes with your quality of life. It includes symptoms that make it difficult to go to work, school or do simple daily tasks. 
  • Tell your doctor if you have an underlying medical problem, especially in the gastrointestinal tract. 
  • If you have the urge to urinate but cannot pass stool, this could be due to an obstruction in your intestines. Consult a doctor.

How to prevent constipation naturally?

In addition to consuming fruit juices, those suffering from constipation can find relief by following modest dietary and lifestyle modifications like:

  • Boosting fiber consumption in the diet
  • Consuming abundant fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Staying hydrated
  • Don’t hold in bowel movements
  • Reducing intake of processed foods
  • Minimizing daily salt intake
  • Increasing potassium intake
  • Avoid carbonated drinks 

Related Read: 3 Surprising Home Remedies to Treat Constipation.

Risk factors for constipation

Constipation is more common in certain groups, such as elderly adults and women. Those people who eat poorly and are dehydrated are at risk of constipation. Moreover, those who do not exercise enough and use certain medications like sedatives and opioids are at a higher risk of constipation.

Complications of constipation

Constipation, on occasion, is normally not a cause for concern. However, if constipation occurs frequently or lasts for several weeks or longer, it might lead to further issues. A person’s strains can lead to severe complications, like hemorrhoids, anal fissures, fecal impaction, and rectal prolapse.

Conclusion

Constipation can cause nausea due to the accumulation of poisons in the stomach. But, irritable bowel syndrome, sedentary lifestyle, bowel obstruction, and medications like antihistamines, diuretics, antidepressants, blood pressure medicines, iron supplements, etc. can also contribute to constipation and nausea. Fortunately, a licensed medical practitioner can effectively address constipation with proper assistance and treatment.

You May Also Like