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Coffee & Health

Does Coffee Cause Constipation?

Certain types of foods, especially greasy, dairy, and spicy foods, in most cases upset the stomach. But among the widely consumed beverages, many are concerned about whether it causes constipation.

Does Coffee Cause Constipation?

It’s a fascinating question.

Coffee is one of the most popular drinks globally, and millions of people worldwide rely on it to help start their day… including me.

So, what is the absolute truth: does coffee cause constipation?

On the contrary, it does not.

It is a common myth, but in reality, coffee has the opposite effect! It can help relieve constipation because it relaxes the colon and stimulates peristaltic movement.

Even though the caffeine in coffee has a dehydrating effect, it may also help to fight constipation.

But while coffee may not cause constipation under normal circumstances, it may aggravate chronic constipation.

Medical science says that there is no connection between it and constipation.


What is Constipation?

It means having difficulty passing a bowel movement.  Individuals suffering from constipation often relieve themselves less than three times a week.

National Digestive Diseases Information reports indicate that more than 4 million Americans experience frequent constipation each year.


Factors that Cause Constipation

Do you suffer from constipation? Some factors that can contribute to constipation include

  • Not consuming enough fiber
  • Not drinking enough water
  • Being sick
  • Being in a non-exercising routine
  • Taking certain medications and misusing laxatives
  • Pregnancy
  • Travel and
  • Getting older


Symptoms of Constipation

The most typical symptom of constipation is having hard, dry stools and being challenging to pass.

There may also be a feeling that your bowels aren’t empty or that they are blocked.

You will experience severe weight loss, intense abdominal pain, blood in your stools, and rectal pain in extreme conditions.

However, if you experience severe conditions, you could seek medical help immediately.


How Coffee Affects You

A 2005 article published in the “European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology” revealed that 14 to 24 percent of the respondents suffering from constipation reported that coffee helps soften their stools.

Similarly, another article, published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition in May 2006, also supports these observations.

In the study, researchers sampled Japanese ladies aged 18- to 20-years and reported that those who consumed more coffee had fewer constipation symptoms than those who took less coffee.

Generally, the caffeine in coffee has a diuretic effect which helps to relieve bloating and constipation.

But if you are intolerant to caffeine or dairy products such as cream added to coffee, you will experience constipation.


The Verdict: Does Coffee cause constipation

Does coffee cause constipation? The truth is that caffeine in coffee causes dehydration, but this should not discourage you from enjoying your favorite drink.

Suppose you suffer from constipation but still like to enjoy the coffee. In that case, you can minimize the dehydrating effect by either (1)switching to decaffeinated coffee or (2) take plenty of other beverages with lesser or without caffeine.

While Several factors: pregnancy, age, traveling, medication, poor diet, and a sedentary lifestyle cause it, coffee is not one of them.  But it can worsen chronic constipation.

Yes, coffee helps to relieve constipation, but you should not rely on it entirely, especially if you have a severe form of constipation. Eat a diet rich in fiber, drink more fluid and do lots of physical exercises.

However, if constipation persists, do not hesitate to consult your doctor.


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