Constipation is one of the most common digestive problems. Ever felt the need to use the loo, but you feel like a tug of war due to all the effort you’re exerting? Sometimes it’s nothing to worry about and can usually be handled by drinking more water. However, if it becomes a regular occurrence, then there might be an underlying health problem. At this stage, you should get medical help quickly. How to prevent constipation.
What is constipation?
Constipation is when stool becomes difficult to pass. It might be due to a low fiber diet, dehydration, or side effects of some medications. Several factors can trigger constipation in people, such as when stool passes through the colon too slowly. The slower the food moves through the digestive tract, the more water the colon will absorb and the harder the feces will become.
Symptoms of constipation
- Fewer than 3 bowel movements per week
- Straining to start or complete a poo session.
- Stool consistency that looks like pebbles.
- Incomplete emptying of bowels after stooling.
Causes of constipation
When there seems to be traffic on the digestive tract and stool doesn’t move quickly enough, constipation is definitely around the corner. Also, physical inactivity, nerve signaling problems, and pelvic floor dysfunction are major causes of constipation.
Check out 6 ways you can prevent constipation from occurring…
#1. Try to manage stress
We know you didn’t consider this, but stress can be the reason behind your difficulty passing stool freely. A 2014 research published in the National Library of Medicine found that stress really does contribute to constipation. “In stressful situations, the body’s adrenal glands release a hormone called epinephrine, which plays a role in the so-called fight-or-flight response. It causes the body to divert blood flow from the intestines toward vital organs, such as the heart, lungs, and brain. As a result, intestinal movement slows down, and constipation can occur,” the study found.
#2. Increase fiber intake
Vegetables, whole grains, and fruits like oranges and pineapples are fiber-rich foods that help improve overall gut function. When next you think of skipping those veggies for fast food, think again if all that battle in the loo is really worth it.
#3. Exercise frequently
Physical inactivity has been discovered as one of the best ways to prevent constipation. Exercising regularly can help keep the stool moving through the colon. Thus, saving you the discomfort of sitting for prolonged periods trying to release.
#4. Drink more water
While it seems cool to replace water with coffee and soda, remember that water is the only option out of the three that helps you prevent constipation. Aim for at least eight glasses a day. If you can do more, the better. It doesn’t have to be taken all at once, just spread it throughout your day and be very deliberate about your water intake.
#5. Go whenever you feel the urge
We can totally relate to the number of times you went to sit on the toilet bowl only to realize it was a false alarm. However, this shouldn’t deter you. Once you feel the urge to go, don’t hesitate as the more you delay, the higher the chances of constipation.
#6. Consume probiotic foods/supplements
Probiotics are good, live bacteria and yeasts that are beneficial to the digestive system. They help send food through the gut by affecting the nerves that control gut movement. Yogurt is a very common example of probiotics and would help that rebel glide right through easily. Such a relief.
If these tips don’t help, then constipation can be termed chronic and you’ll need to see a doctor immediately. Early detection is always very helpful in treating any medical condition.
Featured image: Lisa Fotios | Pexels
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