Celiac Disease Constipation (and how to relieve it)
Celiac disease constipation is one of those celiac symptoms that seem to fly under the radar. So many of us complain of being married to the bathroom after gluten exposure but some us seem to experience shall I say a temporary “break” in their relationship with the bathroom. While it’s not as widely known as other digestive issues associated with celiac disease, constipation can be a symptom of celiac.
In this post I will answer the following questions:
- Can celiac disease cause constipation?
- What causes celiac disease constipation?
- How can you relieve celiac disease constipation?
Can celiac disease cause constipation?
You are considered to have constipation if you have less than 3 bowel movements a week. So can constipation be a symptom of celiac disease? The short answer is Yes, celiac disease can cause constipation. There are over 200 known symptoms associated with celiac disease, and constipation is one of them. Along with diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, sour stomach, and others.
What causes celiac disease constipation?
There are a few things that could cause celiac disease constipation. It could be your diet, lifestyle, or potential exposure to gluten.
Your gluten-free diet and celiac disease constipation
While a gluten-free diet can be rich in fiber, it also can lack it. A diet is full of processed gluten-free foods could be causing things to get a little backed-up. Often, gluten-free alternatives aren’t as rich in fiber as their gluten-filled versions. So if you’re look to point a finger at the cause of your toilet woes, you might want to evaluate your eating pattern.
Your lifestyle and celiac disease constipation
Lifestyle factors like like not drinking enough water or participating in routine enjoyable activity can impact your bowel movements. Your celiac disease constipation could be due to you not getting in enough sleep or physical activity.
Also remember, any sudden change in your typical eating pattern can upset things. Are you on vacation or did you just get back from a weekend on the beach? Have you been extra stressed lately? These things can impact your bowel movements too.
Gluten exposure could cause celiac constipation
Were you exposed to gluten recently? That certainly can disrupt normal bowel movements and cause constipation. Focus on eating normally and drinking enough water. (I’ll sometimes even drink coffee to help encourage things). Remember that it will pass.
You might also consider building a Gluten-Exposure Recovery Kit that features things you can easily access when you’re glutened. You can find a list of items that I have in mine here if you need inspiration.
How can you relieve celiac disease constipation?
There a few things you can try to find relief from celiac disease constipation and other forms of constipation. My top suggestion however, is to practice self-care. As always, if you are concerned, talk to your doctor about your symptoms!
Drink enough water
Believe it or not, water is very important when it comes to healthy poops. This is one of the many reasons why you should make sure you’re drinking enough. The general recommendation for healthy adults is 8 cups a day.
Eat fiber rich foods
If you’re looking to improve celiac constipation via your diet, consider slowly adding in more fiber-rich food. Things like fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and beans are all gluten-free fiber-rich options. Make sure you add these foods in slowly as your body will need time to adjust to the increase in fiber.
Also, remember, when you increase your fiber intake, you need increase your water intake to keep things moving. Like I said previously, dinking enough water is important for healthy poops. If you don’t get enough water while increasing your fiber intake, you’ll get nowhere fast.
Consider supplements and laxatives
If you’re really struggling with keeping things moving, consider supplements and laxatives. If you choose to go this route, make sure to consult your doctor to make sure your selections are safe for you.
Stress can wreak havoc on your health and bowel movements. Whether you endured a stressful food situation, or you’re just generally stressed, relaxing can help encourage things to move along.
Consider reading a book, practicing yoga, deep breathing, spending time in nature, or watching a movie. I personally find relief by sipping on mint tea and watching a good movie. The child yoga pose also does wonders for me.
A heating pad or compress held to your lower back might help relieve any discomfort you might have there from the back-up. A hot bath or standing in a hot shower could provide similar relief as well (not to mention it might give you some time to relax more).
Get enough sleep and movement
Take a step back and look at your current habits and stress-level? Consider what you might be able to do to improve your current situation to support better bowel movements and health. Are you getting 7-8 hours of sleep? Are you engaging in routine enjoyable activity? Might there be some things you can do to help cope with stressors? These things could help with constipation.
Hopefully, this post has provided you some insight on celiac disease constipation. Let me know your favorite form of relief when things get stuck in the comments below.
If you’re concerned about the symptoms you’re experiencing (including constipation), speak with your doctor (or dietitian) who specializes in GI disorders like celiac disease. This post, nor any post on my website (Tayler.Silfverduk.us) is meant to take the place of individualized medical care.