Scientists have recently found that constipation might be associated with kidney disease, but they are still not sure whether it counts as a cause. In the latest study, a group of experts reviewed health records of over 3.5 million United States veterans, to find out if they had ever been constipated or if doctors had prescribed them any laxatives over a seven-year period.
Based on the findings, they established that those in the constipation group were more likely to develop kidney failure and chronic kidney disease. It is worth mentioning that participants with the most serious forms of constipation also had the highest chance of developing the two kidney conditions.
Dr. Csaba Pal Kovesdy, the nephrology chief from the Memphis VA Medical Center, says ‘We cannot really say that we were very surprised.’ According to Kovesdy, who is also the lead author, other studies have pointed to the fact that this condtion might be associated with cardiovascular illnesses.
Therefore, they speculated that constipation could affect not just the heart but also the kidneys. One of the leading factors might be an altered gut microbiome. Gut bacteria are common because they break down food, but when microbiomes suffer any changes, the risk of metabolic changes increases as well, which means that they could lead to gut inflammation.
The researchers underline that this chronic inflammation might be caused by the fact that food passes too slowly through the human digestive system, thus increasing the risk of chronic kidney disease.
According to the statistics, constipation affects roughly 30 percent of all people during a lifetime, so it is one of the most common conditions. Women and senior patients have the highest risk of getting constipated.
The researchers say that they will continue their investigation to establish whether constipation is the leading factor influencing the development of kidney disease, or just a sign pointing to an elevated risk among patients.
If constipation and kidney disease turn out to be related, then treating constipation will represent one of the best strategies to prevent kidney failure or kidney disease, according to the team.
They also add that doctors should recommend patients other methods, besides laxatives, including diets rich in fiber and probiotics. Although laxatives treat constipation, they dehydrate the body, so they might also have a harmful effect on a patient’s kidneys.
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