Medications

Medications such as opioids can impact the peristaltic (movement) activity of the food through the gastrointestinal tract. Poor movement can cause fecal matter to become stuck and harden within the intestinal tract. This results in a blockage that can prevent the movement of fecal matter, thus resulting in constipation.

Prolonged constipation and the constant strain of bowel muscles cause injury and can lead to hernia development. A hernia occurs as a result of the bulging of an organ or tissue through an abnormal opening.

Diarrhea

Diarrhea may be a result of an infection or other gastrointestinal conditions such as Crohn’s or irritable bowel syndrome.

Hemorrhoids

The enlargement of blood vessels surrounding the rectum and anus. Usually due to constipation. 

Poor lifestyle choices

This involves diet and physical activity. Diet-related factors include poor fibre intake (less than 25g a day for women and less than 30g a day for men), high intake of saturated and/or trans fats and insufficient water intake. Poor physical activity levels or sedentary lifestyles can slow the movement of the GIT and can result in leading to constipation. 

Radiation

Radiation damage is usually associated with prostate cancer patients. The use of radiation can damage tissue surrounding the rectum. 

Nerve damage

Nerve damage can occur from conditions such as diabetes, spinal cord injury or neurological conditions. Damage to nerves affects the transmission of the signal from the rectum/anus to the brain and affects an individual's ability to consciously control bowel movements. 

Reversal of a stoma

bowel incontinence causes