Constipation is common. Most people have constipation at some point in their lives, but even though constipation can bring pain and frustration, few talk about this problem. Women more often suffer from constipation than men, and also it frequently appears at older people.
Fortunately, in most cases, constipation is temporary and only simple changes in lifestyle (mainly nutritional) may eliminate this unpleasant problem.
Constipation causes bloating of the abdomen, but can also bring pain, frustration and anxiety
WHAT IS CONSTIPATION?
Constipation is infrequent and difficult bowel emptying, hard and scarce stool and a sense of insufficient bowel emptying.
When you say irregular bowel emptying, many wonder what it means. The fact is that discharge is different between various people. Some people need to go 3 times a week and some 2-3 times daily. It is estimated that 95% of people go from 3 to 21 times per week and it is considered normal.
From the medical point of view, constipation is defined as less than three bowel emptying per week.
- The symptoms of constipation include:
- less than three times emptying per week;
- hard stool;
- difficulty emptying;
- feeling of insufficient bowel emptying.
It is considered that you are constipated if you have at least 2 of these symptoms within 3 months. Also, constipation can cause swollen stomach, vomiting and abdominal pain that disappears after emptying the bowels.
You should immediately contact a doctor if:
- have severe stomach pain;
- You have bloody stool;
- feel rectal pain;
- diarrhea occurs, because it is a sign of irritable bowel syndrome;
- achieve significant weight loss;
- 3-4 days only once you feel the need for a bowel emptying even though you have changed your diet and exercise often.
Causes of constipation
The most common causes of constipation are:
- insufficient fluid intake or dehydration;
- low consumption of foods rich in fiber;
- lack of physical activity;
- irritable bowel syndrome;
- changes in lifestyle (diet, travel, pregnancy, etc.);
- ignoring the need to go or postponement of the need;
- frequent use of laxatives;
- diseases of the thyroid (hypothyroidism), Parkinson’s disease, hypertension, depression, hemorrhoids;
- certain drugs.
HOW TO HELP YOURSELF?
In most cases it is sufficient to simple change diet and lifestyle to improve the situation and make unpleasant symptoms of constipation to disappear. But if such changes do not improve the situation sometimes it requires medical treatment and taking laxatives.
Here’s what you can do for yourself to help you:
Consume foods rich in fiber. The best sources of fiber include: fruits (apples, black plums, pears, apricots, oranges, bananas), vegetables (tomatoes, broccoli, spinach, cauliflower, carrots), legumes and cereals.
Eat less sugar. People who consume more sugar more often suffer from constipation. Limit your consumption of sugar, ice cream and candy.
Exercise regularly. Walk several times a day for 10-15 minutes and will improve the performance of the digestive system. If you are physically active, navigate to aerobic exercises, running, swimming or dancing. It is thought that certain yoga postures ease the symptoms of constipation.
Drink enough fluids. How much fluid you need to drink depends on many factors such as gender, age, health, physical activity and other environmental factors, but is generally accepted that you should consume 8 glasses of water each day. Limit your consumption of caffeine (coffee, soft drinks) because caffeine can cause dehydration.
Do not ignore the need for a bowel emptying. The more you wait, the more water is absorbed and the stool becomes hard. Avoid strict diets. Many girls are starving themselves to lose weight and it can cause a disorder of the digestive system. Avoid diets that do not include food rich in fiber.
- Honey and water. Mix one tablespoon of honey in hot water and drink the mixture in the morning.
- Lemon and hot water. It is thought that the mixture of lemon juice and warm water helps to prevent constipation.
- Sesame and linseed. Mix a little sesame and flax seeds and eat them.
- Sunflower oil. Many argue that sunflower oil helps with constipation. Consume 2-3 tablespoons of this oil per day.
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