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ALERT: Severe Constipation Linked to Increased Risk of Kidney Disease

Nov 15, 2016 04:00 AM EST
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A new study revealed that people who suffer from severe constipation are more likely to develop chronic kidney disease (CKD) and end-stage renal disease (ESRD) or kidney failure.

The study, published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, showed that early diagnosis and management of constipation could be helpful in preventing or treating kidney diseases.

"Our findings highlight the plausible link between the gut and the kidneys and provide additional insights into the pathogenesis of kidney disease progression," explained study author Csaba P. Kovesdy, MD, of the Memphis Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Tennessee, in a press release. "Our results suggest the need for careful observation of kidney function trajectory in patients with constipation, particularly among those with more severe constipation."

For the study, the researchers analyzed more than 3.5 million US veterans with normal kidney function who were initially examined in 2004 and 2006 and were followed through 2013. By comparing the patients with constipation to those who did not, the researchers found that constipated patients were 13 percent more likely to develop chronic disease and 9 percent more likely to suffer from kidney failure.

Furthermore, the researchers also discovered that those who are suffering from more severe constipation have the highest risk of developing kidney disease and kidney failure.

Constipation is a very common condition that generally described as having fewer than three bowel movements per week. Severe constipations occur when more than one laxative were used to alleviate the problem. Most common causes of constipation are lack of dietary fiber, some medications and lack of physical activity. Fibers and water are responsible for easy transition of stool in the intestines by preventing it from hardening and drying.

The researchers note that the study is purely observational and cannot establish causal relationship between constipation and kidney failure and kidney disease. However, the researchers emphasized in the need for careful observation of kidney function trajectory in patients with constipation, particularly among those with more severe constipation.

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