Constipation: a condition in which there is difficulty in emptying the bowels, usually associated with hardened faeces.
The stools are sometimes accompanied by blood loss as the anal passage may be damaged or scratched.
Constipation is accompanied by headache, coated tongue, foul breath and lack of appetite. These symptoms disapper when satisfactory evacuation takes place.
Causes of Constipation:
1) lack of sleep and rest.
2) irregular eating and elimination habits.
3) faulty dietary habits such as including more refined and concentrated foods and very little fibre foods.
4) painful defection due to hemorrhoids and fissures, hence psychological aversion and avoidance to eliminate faces.
5) change in surroundings.
6) not enough water or fiber in your diet.
7) stress, etc
Treatment involves establishing regularity in habits of eating, sleeping (rest), exercise and elimination.
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Eat a well-balanced diet with plenty of fiber. Good sources of fiber are fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole-grain bread and cereal (especially bran).
- Keep to a routine (a place and time of day) when you're able to spend time on the toilet. Respond to your bowel's natural pattern: when you feel the urge, don't delay.
- Exercise more regularly – for example, by going for a daily walk.
- Eat fresh and dried fruit. Fruit, especially dried fruit, is loaded with fiber and is one of the foods that help relieve constipation. Along with water, fiber helps give stool the right consistency to pass easily. Good fruit choices for a constipation diet are raisins, prunes, figs, bananas, apples.
- Don't rely on processed foods. Processed foods don’t have much fiber. Go with natural foods like fruits and vegetables.
- Avoid stress.
- Coffee or caffeinated drinks: It cause dehydration, which can have the opposite effect and lead to constipation.
- Avoid drinking too much alcohol. Like caffeine, alcohol can dehydrate you and cause constipation. Limiting your alcohol intake can help relieve constipation.