If constipation is accompanied by fatigue, headaches, abdominal pain or colitis, there’s a good chance that food allergy is at least partly to blame – especially if eating high fiber like bran, exercising a few days a week and keeping a fairly standard daily routine don't help.
”Contipation is an important symptom of food allergy,” says Frederic Speer, M.D., in his book Food Allergy (PSG Publishing, 1978). Most people know that milk is an extremely common cause of constipation, says Dr. Speer, although many mistakenly believe that it's only boiled milk or cheese that causes trouble.
But milk in any form, as well as other foods, can cause constipation. ”Several physicians have noted that normal bowel control is often promptly achieved in many allergic children when a food to which the child is allergic is eliminated in Jackson, Tennessee. ”Milk and chocolate are especially common offenders,” he adds.
Dr. Crook says that allergy can cause constipation by triggering spasms in the circular muscles of the bowel, interfering with the normal elimination of stools. And once the waste disposal mechanism is disturbed, stools can back up in the lower colon and rectum.
That in turn stretches the bowel muscles so out of shape that they lose their strength and elasticity, making it harder to expel waste material. See Rotary Diets, for more information on how to control allergy to milk and other common causes of food induced constipation.