Constipation is very common nowadays and it affects almost all ages of people. Being constipated means the bowel movements are tough or start to happen less often than normal. Usually, if you have less than 3 bowel movements per week this is considered constipation. If untreated, constipation can have a big impact on the everyday life by causing lack of vitality or feeling uncomfortable and heavy. It can also lead to other colorectal disorders.
What causes Constipation?
Constipation is mainly caused by our lifestyle. The cause can be anything: from our food to the way we are living our lives.
Let’s talk about the causes and consequences of constipation.
There are several causes of constipation. It may appear because of a poor diet, problems in elimination of stool or poor bowel habits. Here are the most common causes of constipation:
1. Poor diet:
A diet low in fibres or full with highly refined food would almost always lead to constipation.
2. Insufficient fluid intake: If you don’t drink enough water, it can lead to hard dry stools because our intestines absorb the fluids we take in order to keep the stools soft.
3. Insufficient physical activity
Physical activity stimulates the bowel movements. Therefore, the lack of activity could contribute to the other factors causing constipation.
4. Ignoring the urge ‘to go’
This happens to everybody, especially working people. However, this could have a negative impact on the digestive system due to the prolonged time the stool remains in the body
How to treat constipation?
1. More fibres, less processed food:
A well balanced diet is a key to a regular digestion. If you are struggling with constipation make sure to introduce more fibres, fruits, vegetables and whole foods to your diet. Another important advice- try to avoid all processed food as much as possible. There is nothing better than a homemade meal cooked from scratch.
Make sure you eat:
a lot of greens such as spinach, kale, broccoli;
carbohydrates such as quinoa, sweet potato, wholegrain rice, wholegrain pasta;
lots of lentils, beans and peas
probiotic foods as yoghurt, sauerkraut, miso, kefir;
2. Drink at least 2 litres of water a day
3.Try not to ignore the urge ‘to go’:
The bowel will lose its habit and also the stool get harder the longer they stay in the rectum. So try to fit this into your daily routine.
Do any kind of physical activity at least three times a week for 20 minutes. This will stimulate the bowel movements. If you are not a big fan of going to the gym or doing exercises just walk but make sure you walk for at least half an hour a day.
5. Take probiotics:
Probiotics are specifically created to help your digestive system to function on its best. The condition of the flora in the guts is very important for our digestive health. We have both good and bad bacteria in our digestive system and if there is a misbalance that could cause problems such as constipation and diarrhea. Probiotics replenish the guts and bring back the balance.
Making small changes in our everyday life can have a huge improvement in our digestive health. If you are struggling with constipation make sure to treat your condition in order to prevent any other health problems that might occur.