While the occasional bout of constipation is not uncommon, ongoing problems with a sluggish bowel may impact the health of other parts of the body—including the kidneys, say researchers from the University of Tennessee.
Working with the VA Medical Center in Memphis, they analyzed at the health records of millions of United States veterans, only to determine that those with frequent constipation had higher risk of both chronic kidney disease and kidney failure. Researchers believe the problem may stem from the gut.
According to study authors, constipation leads to changes in the gut microbiome, and those changes can trigger chronic inflammation in the body, which in turn can damage healthy kidneys. Indeed, study findings revealed that individuals with higher rates of constipation were more likely to develop kidney problems over time.
“Our findings highlight the plausible link between the gut and the kidneys,” said Dr. Csaba Kovesdy. He admitted he and his fellow researchers were not surprised by their findings, since previous studies have linked a healthy gut bacterial population with cardiovascular health and more.