Briefly, constipation – which is the opposite of diarrhoea – can be defined as tough bowel movements. As a consequence of this, getting rid of the waste ( stool) becomes harder for individuals. Less than 3 stools in a week are considered constipation even though bowel movements frequency shows alteration from person to person. Constipation is a common health problem and can affect people of all age groups.
Most of the time, there is nothing to worry about since it’s not an indication of a serious disease. A person pulls through the ailment with some changes in his lifestyle for instance by converting to a healthy diet. On the other hand, being constipated for more than 3 weeks is a good reason to pay a visit to the doctor.
The Causes of Constipation
Diet: Having a diet that doesn’t contain enough foods high in fibre is indicated as one of the most common causes of constipation.
Water: Presumably, there is no point to explain the importance of water for the body. Briefly, it is vital. A body deprived of water tends to suffer from constipation.
Exercise: The evidence suggests that those who have a regular exercise routine rarely suffer from constipation. In this respect, it is safe to say that lack of exercise and a sedentary lifestyle bring about constipation.
Avoiding the urge: Delaying the urge of going to the toilet ( for some reason ) is known to cause constipation.
Pregnancy: Mothers and pregnant women must be familiar with this situation. Hormones that change during pregnancy can cause constipation. Furthermore, mothers can get constipated the following 4 months after giving birth.
Medications: From time to time, constipation can emerge as a result of some prescribed medicine’s side effects. For instance; tricyclic antidepressants, iron supplements, antacids and so forth.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome: IBS is a medical problem that affects the large intestine. Therefore, IBS is known to cause both constipation and diarrhoea as well as other problems.
Ways to Combat Constipation
Increase Water Intake
There are two solutions, recommended by doctors, for this digestive problem. The first one, as everybody would expect, increase the daily water intake. Because according to doctors and nutritionists; suffering from constipation is a strong sign of inadequate water (fluid) intake.
Eat High-Fiber Food
And the second indication of constipation is a diet that most likely doesn’t include foods that contain pulp which is necessary for digestion. We should increase the consumption of foods high in fibre ( fruits, veggies, grains so forth ) to avoid being constipated.
If the problem doesn’t go away despite the increased water intake and fibre rich food consumption then it’s time to consult a doctor since there might another underlying reason.
As mentioned above, sedentary and modern lifestyles are blamed for the rise in the number of people who suffer from constipation. Regular exercise will enable the intestines to work more efficiently. It doesn’t have to be an intense exercise. Walking can be enough to help improve digestion.
Chew The Foods Adequately
The digestive process starts from the mouth when we chew the foods to divide into small particles. However, when we try to eat foods without chewing them properly, we come across digestive system problems. Hiccup, bloating, constipation etc. can happen due to negligence in chewing. Therefore, eating slowly and chewing prevent us from getting constipated and other digestive problems.
We individuals shouldn’t overlook the importance of the first meal of the day ( breakfast ). Because having breakfast provides the energy we need for the day. Moreover, experts recommend having breakfast between 7 and 9 am for better bowel movements.
Foods to Eat
Speaking of a healthy diet; let’s propose some foods.
- Whole Grains
- Dried Apricots
- Dragon fruit
Tarkan is an experienced health writer ( currently more than 600 articles ) and also the founder of this website namely www.neededforhealth.com. His expertise in health stems from in-depth medical research and knowledge which he obtained over the course of many years.
Tarkan enjoys sharing factual knowledge on health, psychology and nutrition. He always aims to deliver evidence-based recommendations, provide links to related scientific studies.