Dangers of Constipation

By Dr. Kamal Kishore Kapil, BAMS

Dangers of Constipation: The Silent Killer

afraid of constipation dangers

To maintain a healthy body, it is very important to have healthy bowel movements.

However, for many people constipation has become a way of life.

This article offers a brief overview of the impact that prolonged constipation may have on a person’s health, and then discuss how to effectively deal with chronic constipation.

Prolonged Constipation Can be a Serious Threat to Health

Constipation is a major problem among adults, especially those above 40 years of age. Occasional Constipation does not present any serious threats. However, chronic constipation might lead to various diseases that can pose a serious threat to a person’s health.

Chronic Constipation can lead to the following:

  1. Colitis, which can turn into cancer
  2. Hemorrhoids
  3. Indigestion
  4. Acidity
  5. Hypertension
  6. Appendicitis
  7. Worm infection

Read about the dangers of constipation during pregnancy by following the link below:

Dangers of Constipation During Pregnancy

Dangers of Prolonged Constipation

The serious health dangers of constipation are discussed below:

1. Colitis

Colitis is the swelling of the large intestine. Colitis due to constipation.

Colitis occurs when excreta decays inside the large intestine.  Bacteria or amoeba begin to form as a result of the decay and are responsible for the swelling of the intestine. 

At this stage, if constipation is not cured, colitis can cause intestinal cancer.

2. Hemorrhoids

Also called piles, hemorrhoids is another disease that can result from chronic constipation. It manifests itself in the swelling or inflammation of the anus region.

Piles due to constipation

Chronic Constipation is the major cause of piles. Constipation puts excessive pressure on the special blood veins designed to help anal muscles squeeze and close off the anus. This results in inflammation of these blood vessels, which is commonly known as Hemorrhoids. (Also see Hernia Constipation)

3. Indigestion

Due to various reasons, indigestion affects the working of our metabolism. 

Indigestion due to constipation

Constipation is responsible for improper metabolic functions, which in turn cause the improper function of the liver.

The inability to cure prolonged constipation can lead to malfunctioning of the liver. Consequently, this leads to malnutrition and many other diseases.

4. Acidity

This is an all too familiar disease caused by constipation. Chronic constipation causes the secretion of acids inside the body.

The excess secretion of acid inside the body results in peptic ulcers, a serious stomach disease which can cause death.

5. Hypertension

Hypertension is caused by the ammonia that are released due to the decay of excreta inside the large Intestine.

Failure to cure chronic constipation can lead to hypertension, which in turn leads to headaches, giddiness and similar such disorders.

6. Appendicitis

The appendix is a vestigial organ in the body that can cause several problems. It’s sole purpose is to store excrement of the fetus prior to birth. Appendicitis is the inflammation or swelling of the appendix.

With normal bowel function, appendicitis rarely occurs.
Appendicitis due to the dangers of constipation

Chronic Constipation can cause inflammation at the junction of the small and large intestines. Because the appendix is found at this junction, the organ is affected. 

Chronic Constipation can cause appendicitis, a condition in which the appendix may burst causing death.

7. Worm infection

The decaying of excreta during chronic constipation generates various bacteria such as amoeba, e-coli and various black and white headed worms. 

The presence of these worms inside the body leads to weakness, indigestion, colitis, malnutrition and other such states.

Curing Prolonged (Chronic) Constipation

As discussed above, prolonged dangers of constipation is responsible for numerous diseases in the human body. Below, I have listed some factors to help remedy this condition.

1. Increase intake of fluids

Fluids are responsible for every metabolic activity inside the body.

Fluids are responsible for balancing the Na+ and K+ ionic exchange. Fluids also play a crucial role in the proper functioning of the intestines and thus aid in proper bowel movements.

Fluids are also responsible for reducing the acid rate during digestion, thus keeping a balance that helps the organs sustain and perform proper digestion.

A person suffering from prolonged constipation must drink a sufficient amount of fluids every day to stay hydrated. Dehydration leads to excessive fluid being withdrawn from the colon to meet other needs of the body. This, in turn, results in hard, dry and difficult to pass stool.

2. Green Vegetables and fiber

Green vegetables are a good source of micro nutrients, especially minerals such as magnesium and phosphates that help the intestines function properly. 

Fiber rich products such as fruits and nuts are also very helpful in improving digestion. Many fruits are a rich source of fiber.

A person suffering from Prolonged Constipation should consume a diet that includes green vegetables and fiber rich fruits.

3. Use of magnesium and its salts

Saline laxatives are one of the most trusted and widely used methods for treating constipation dangers.

As discussed earlier, magnesium is responsible for proper bowel movement, and therefore has the potential for successfully treating the disease.

Magnesium salts such as Philips milk of magnesia(MgSo4) and Epsom salt are often used. However, because of excessively high magnesium content per dose, these products should only be used occasionally.

Various benefits of using them include:

A decrease in acid level, which may help metabolism 

A decrease in the acid level promotes proper intestine function, which in turn supports proper bowel movements

Fluids are drawn in the stool through magnesium salt, which softens the stool

A moist stool moves more easily, thus minimizing straining and the threat of piles

When the stool is moist, it is bulkier than dry stool and produces the urge for having a bowel movement

4. Use of a magnesium supplement

Numerous magnesium supplements are designed for regular, daily use. For most adults, taking the recommended 350 mg. of a magnesium supplement each day, along with sufficient water intake, will effectively answer the problem of the dangers of chronic constipation.


Chronic Constipation is dangerous and a very serious disease that can trigger several other diseases and thus it requires immediate attention.

(Return from Dangers of Constipation to What is Constipation)

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