Constipation is standing out as a very common problem nowadays. Which was earlier believed to be an ailment of toddlers and elderly now even has got its hold over the young adult. Constipation in itself is not a serious condition at all but the consequences can be painful. Research has shown that unhealthy bowel habits lead to an unhealthy mind. Along with our food habits there are a few more things we should change to avoid constipation or bowel related problems.
1. Eat fiber rich diet
Daily fiber requirement for women 25 grams and man 35 to 40 grams. Fiber helps in forming bulk of the stool which helps upto pass stool easily. Without fiber there is no stool mass and causes difficulty in defecation. High fiber rich content is available in several vegetables and fruits. To name some fruits are avocados, coconut, berries, banana, mango, etc. and fruits vegetables rich in fiber content are Okra, brussel sprouts, turnips, peas, chick peas artichoke, Acorn squash, lentils and Black Beans.Some nuts are also very rich in fiber to name some walnuts and Almonds have high fiber contents 9 gram per serving others are Quinoa, flax seed.
2. Drink plenty of water
Water is a universal solvent. It mixes up with the food in our stomach and helps our intestine churn better to make a bulk. This bulk can be easily passed by our rectum thus avoiding constipation. Make a habit of drinking half to 1 liter of lukewarm water in the morning when you wake up. It acts by increasing the temperature and thus metabolic activity also increases. Increased metabolic activity enhances your digestive process, increased secretion of digestive juices and proper mix-up of all the contents.
3. Avoid forced defecation
Many of us have an unhealthy habit of going to the loo in the morning hours even if we don’t get the feeling of passing stool. We try forcing it out by increasing abdominal pressure of sitting there for excessive duration. This must be avoided since increasing your abdominal pressure also increases the risk of hemorrhoids and hernia. Constipation itself doesn’t causes hemorrhoids or hernia or fissures but the excessive force created by us leads to increase in tension and in turn breaches our mucosal lining of rectum or muscle stands causing fissures and hemorrhoids respectively.
4. Reduce low-fiber foods
Avoid high intake of low fiber foods such as fried fast foods which our palates find so irresistible. Regular intake of non-vegetarian food is one of the leading reasons for constipation. Decreasing the high cholesterol contents improve constipation upto great extent.
5. Limit caffeine and alcohol consumption
If you are travelling or a regular consumer of high levels of caffeine or alcohol then you are bound to be constipated as these cause high level of dehydration and thus making stool contents dry and difficult to move through rectum. Drink plenty of water when travelling and consuming excess levels of caffeine and alcohol. Especially little amount of Luke warm water will keep the system going effectively.
There is no better alternative than exercise. It’s the golden rule to every basic health problem. Exercise has some undoubted brilliant benefits to our alimentary system including proper passage of stool. If you are couch potato by lifestyle and are mostly stagnant throughout the day the most likely you are severely constipated and will remain so for as long as you are not going to move. Exercise helps our bowel move and allows proper pace of peristalsis. It also increases the gastric juice secretion which helps digest food better and increase our appetite. So a little bit of running, jogging and free hand exercise daily not only saves you from constipation but also give you an excellent appetite.
7. Avoid excessive use of laxatives
Many elderly are in the habit of use of laxatives or stool softeners. Once in a while stool softeners are very handy and effective but an excessive and uncontrolled use can cause exactly the opposite mechanism by causing dehydration and making the stool hard and dry. Similar effect is cause by excessive use of antacids as they cause water uptake in the Intestine leaving it dry.
8. Time to get help
Often excessive dehydration causes stony hard stools. Hard fecal matter gets impacted and blocks the pathway causing severe pain, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps etc. In such cases hospital admission or professional intervention is required. Impacted fecal matter is to be removed and rectal enemas should be given.