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What are the Most Common Causes of Indigestion and Constipation?

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  • Written By: M.C. Huguelet
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 06 September 2016
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Indigestion, the feeling of abdominal fullness or burning that sometimes follows a meal, and constipation, the ongoing difficulty passing a bowel movement, are unpleasant but usually temporary problems experienced by most people at some stage in their lives. When indigestion and constipation occur simultaneously, however, the sufferer can feel as though he is in a state of digestive misery. Understanding the common triggers of each can be key to reducing or even preventing future attacks by this unpleasant duo. Factors which may lead to both constipation and indigestion can include dairy consumption, irritable bowel syndrome, medications, and, in rare cases, serious illnesses of the digestive tract.

One of the most common causes of simultaneous indigestion and constipation is the consumption of dairy products. In some cases, such digestive problems may result from an inability to process the sugars present in dairy products, a condition known as lactose intolerance. While dairy consumption by lactose intolerant individuals may initially cause indigestion accompanied by diarrhea, the fluids and body salts lost through these loose bowel movements can lead to constipation. Even those who normally do not have a lactose sensitivity can develop digestive issues after consuming large quantities of dairy products.

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Another common cause of these combined symptoms is a health condition known as irritable bowel syndrome. For reasons that are not yet fully understood by researchers, the intestinal muscles of those with irritable bowel syndrome function abnormally, moving food through the digestive tract either too rapidly or too slowly. When these muscles work too slowly, the waste dries and hardens, resulting in constipation. This constipation is often accompanied by an extremely uncomfortable feeling of indigestion.

Certain medications can also cause simultaneous indigestion and constipation. Most commonly at fault are aspirin and other painkillers. Sometimes, the prolonged use of calcium-containing antacids, usually taken to relieve the burning sensation associated with indigestion, can lead to constipation. In other words, in this unfortunate situation, treating one’s indigestion can actually cause constipation.

At times, a more serious underlying illness is to blame for these problems. For instance, the presence of a growth in the digestive tract can cause an intestinal blockage, leading to reduced bowel movements and abdominal discomfort. Those who experience digestive symptoms that last for several weeks or more and do not respond to conventional treatments should consider consulting a healthcare professional to rule out a more serious underlying condition.

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wander
Post 5

@drtroubles - You may need to try a few different acid reflux remedies until you find one that works. One thing that you can try is getting papaya tablets that are chewable and drinking aloe vera juice. Both of these are helpful at reducing stomach acid. You can also drink Chamomile tea after each time you eat.

As far as the constipation goes I would try drinking some Senna Leaf Tea as it does a great job of promoting bowel movements. Just make sure you are near a bathroom after you drink it, and stay close for about an hour. Senna Leaf Tea is very good at what it does and nobody wants an accident.

drtroubles
Post 4

Does anyone know of some acid indigestion remedies that will also help with constipation?

I have found that since I have gotten older my stomach just can't do much without having problems. No matter what I eat I get acid indigestion symptoms, and combined with not being able to go to the bathroom on a regular basis I just feel miserable. I have tried adding more fruits and vegetables to my diet but it isn't doing too much. As far as fiber goes, I definitely get enough of that with all the grains I eat. I am thinking that I am going to have to do something more than just change my diet.

candyquilt
Post 3

@alisha-- My mom has the same exact problem! I guess this is a common side effect for diabetes medications.

I experienced these symptoms for sometime last year as well but mine was due to a stomach bacteria called helicobacter pylori. I couldn't eat properly because I felt nauseated all the time and I would throw up unable to digest anything. I also had constipation.

I went to my doctor about treating acid reflux and he asked me to get a test for bacteria when I told him my symptoms. I was tested positive for helicobacter pylori. I had to take a lot of antibiotics but once the bacteria was gone, everything went back to normal thankfully.

discographer
Post 2

I never had these concerns until I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and started taking medication for it daily.

The medication I'm on causes indigestion and constipation all the time. Not just that but I also get a bloated stomach after eating, gas and even cramps sometimes.

I've asked my doctor to switch my medication but he told me that this is the one with the least side-effects! I have no choice but to stay on them. Meanwhile I'm taking anti-acids, fiber and laxatives from time to time to counter the effects of my medication.

burcidi
Post 1

I think the main cause of constipation is lack of fiber in the diet, mainly vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Most Americans are pretty bad at eating enough fruits and vegetables and we eat a lot of fast-food and junk food. I think this is the top cause for acid, indigestion and constipation.

I also have this problem if I don't pay attention to what I'm eating and order take-out too often. I have to make sure I get some vegetables and fruits everyday. I've also switched to whole grains, I'm now eating oatmeal or musli instead of cereal and whole grain bread or brown rice.

Beans are also great for constipation, but the problem is that they can also cause indigestion because of excess gas. I love beans and I do have them every week, but I try to limit the amount.

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