Recent research has shown that there might be a link between constipation and kidney disease, although there might be other influencing factors as well. Scientists analyzed medical records from over 3.5 million United States veterans to establish if doctors had prescribed them laxatives or if they had ever been constipated over a seven-year period.
At the end of the study, they discovered that patients who had suffered from that condition at least once were more likely to develop kidney failure and chronic kidney disease compared to healthy veterans.
Also, those who experienced severe symptoms had an elevated risk of developing any of the two illnesses. According to Dr. Csaba Pal Kovesdy, lead researcher and nephrology chief at the Memphis VA Medical Center, he and his team are not surprised by these findings.
They represent additional proof to other previous studies which found a link between constipation and heart disease. Therefore, the team suspects that constipation might trigger the same response in a patient’s body, leading to kidney disease as well.
Kovesdy explains that this condition develops when gut bacteria is altered. This anomaly causes various metabolic changes, and one of them is inflammation. However, the researchers underlined that their study didn’t reveal a cause-and-effect link, but it just pointed to the fact that constipation and chronic kidney disease might be related.
Based on the statistics, around thirty percent of the United States adults experience constipation at least once during their lifetime, which means that it is one of the most common conditions across the country.
Specialists underline that women and seniors have the highest risk of experiencing this mild condition. Kovesdy says that he and his team will continue their investigation to establish if constipation is either a cause or a sign that patients are more likely to develop kidney disease.
The scientists hope that by treating constipation, they will prevent kidney failure as well. In the meantime, they advise doctors to come with a different approach and prescribe patients other medications instead of laxatives.
More precisely, constipation can be treated with the help of probiotics and healthy diets rich in fiber. Compared to laxatives, they don’t lead to dehydration which might have a negative impact on a patient’s kidneys.
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