HYDERABAD: ASurvey states higher prevalence of constipation in metro cities. Constipation is not only a medical problem restricted to elders, but is also seen amongst youth and middle aged population
Abbott, a healthcare company, recently conducted a nationwide gut health survey to assess the condition of constipation sufferers in the country, as well as the association of constipation with comorbidities such as diabetes, hypothyroidism, and anorectal disorders. The findings suggest that 22% of the adult Indian population is suffering from the condition, with 13% complaining of severe constipation. 6% of the Indian population suffer from constipation associated with certain comorbidities.
The gut health survey highlights the predicament of these ‘silent sufferers’, the cause of chronic constipation and problems associated with it. Abbott partnered with IPSOS, a global market research and consulting firm, that surveyed 4,133 respondents across eight cities – Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Chennai, Patna, Ahmedabad and Lucknow to understand the seriousness of the issue.
Various metabolic disorders are likely to cause constipation. For example, diabetics are 2.2 times more prone to constipation vis-a-vis nondiabetics while patients with Hypothyroidism are 2.4 times likely to develop constipation vs patients without hypothyroidism. Moreover, people with anorectal disorders have more than 2.7 times the likelihood of associated constipation. Constipation tends to be more severe when associated with some of these comorbidities.
Pregnancy was found to be a common cause of constipation in women, with every one in four pregnant females (25%) suffering from constipation. It has been observed that constipation is most common in the second trimester. The survey also highlights the fact that 18% pregnant women developed anorectal disorders, thus making it imperative for medical practitioners to identify the condition in its early stage and begin treatment.
Practices like irregular eating habits, consumption of junk food and less water intake have been identified as key factors causing constipation. 21% sufferers do not indulge in any physical activity, making sedentary lifestyle an important factor associated with constipation.The survey also brought to light the fact that though 88% of the sufferers are concerned about the condition, very few are willing to discuss it with their immediate family or friends due to the “social taboo.”
Though the percentage of individuals in Hyderabad suffering from constipation is comparatively low at 18%, those who do face this problem, react quickly to constipation. Nearly 91% have treated constipation and 49% sought treatment the first time it occurred. Hyderabad also has the highest percentage of those people who have ever visited a doctor - 68%. Nearly 58% of sufferers chose allopathy as their first line of treatment.
Speaking on the importance of Gut Health, Indian Cricketer, Virender Sehwag said, “Being an athlete, I know gastrointestinal issues can be the root cause for many other health issues including mental health. If we suffer from gut issues, it becomes difficult to focus and perform well on field and in life. Having a healthy gut is key as it allows the body to build a stronger immune system.”