If you’re constipated, you may be facing more consequences than just feeling uncomfortable.

A new study has confirmed that chronic constipation might be a risk factor when it comes to developing kidney disease.

In fact, previous research has linked chronic constipation to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, likely because of the bacteria that backs up and makes it way to the heart. A study of 70,000 women found that those with severe constipation carried a 23% higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease than those who were not constipated on a regular basis.

This new study examined data of more than 3.5 million US veterans. They scanned data for those who had reported being constipated or taking laxatives over the past seven years and found that those who did so were more often at risk for developing chronic kidney disease and kidney failure.

Patients with constipation were 13% more likely to develop chronic kidney disease and 9% more likely to develop kidney failure.

It is possible that constipation means that the gut biome has been disrupted and that the gut bacteria is not where it should be. Recent research has linked gut bacteria to problems such as depression and chronic fatigue syndrome, therefore it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to also link it to chronic kidney disease.

Dr. Csaba Kovesday, who led the study, stated:

“Our findings highlight the plausible link between the gut and the kidneys and provide additional insights into the pathogenesis of kidney disease progression. Our results suggest the need for careful observation of kidney function trajectory in patients with constipation, particularly among those with more severe constipation.”

The results of this study will be published in the next issue of Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, however it is important to understand that correlation does not necessarily mean causation.

Other risk factors for kidney disease might also include diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

However, it is recommended that dietary changes to help alleviate constipation are taken into consideration. It is suggested that those who are concerned about their level of constipation drink more water and include clear broth and other liquids in their diet.

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