Are you suffering from
- Recent change in bowel habits?
- Fewer bowel movements than usual?
- Strain while passing stools?
- Do you have to sit longer than usual to empty the bowels
If your answer is ‘Yes’ to one or more of the questions, then you are amongst the many people who suffer from constipation.
One should be aware that there is no ‘right’ number of bowel movements. Normal passing of stools can occur three times a day or three times a week, depending on your system. It all depends on contributing factors that include the food that you eat and how much you exercise.
Every one experiences being constipated at some point in life due largely to a poor diet. Though it is usually temporary and not serious, understanding what causes constipation can help you take steps to prevent it.
What causes Constipation??
As food passes through the large intestine, water is absorbed and waste products from the food form into stool. As movement of the food in the intestine slows down, stools become dry and hard and causes constipation
- Low fibre diet
- High fat content in the food
- Not drinking enough fluids
- Lack of exercise
- Not passing stools when you feel the urge
- Laxative abuse
- Certain medications
- Changes in routine such as pregnancy, aging or travel
How to avoid Constipation
- Eat High Fiber diet : Fiber provides bulk to the stool and also accelerates movement of the food in the intestine. Introduce more beans, seeds, green leafy vegetables, fruits into your diet.
- Avoid refined carbohydrates : such as white bread, pasta and polished rice. Whole grain varieties contain more fibers and also helps insulin release in the body. This also reduces risk of diabetes.
- Drink more water : Eight glasses per day is ideal. Also soups, fruit juices would be helpful
- Exercise : At least 30 mins brisk walk everyday or light workout / aerobics are advisable and also good for overall health.
- Consult your doctor before self prescribing laxatives : Some laxatives are habit forming if taken over a long period of time. Do consult your doctor for the right choice of the laxative and the right duration.