What is Constipation?
Constipation is one of the most common digestive issues in the world, affecting over 2.5 million people in the United States alone each year. Most people believe that constipation is caused by insufficient bowel movements. Constipation, in reality, is more complicated and subtle, with a variety of symptoms that you may not always recognize. People believe that if they have a bowel movement every day, they cannot be constipated. However, the medical definition of constipation requires a person to have only of the following symptoms:
1. Less than three bowel movement per week.
2. Straining to start or complete a bowel movement.
3. Stool consistency that looks like a rocks and pebble.
4. A feeling of incomplete emptying.
5. Abdominal bloating, fullness, discomfort or pain.
6. Hard to lumpy stools.
Three primary types of constipation
1. Functional (IBS and Chronic idiopathic)
2. Colonoparesis or slow-transit constipation.
3. Pelvic floor dysfunction
• Impaired or excessive decent.
• Poor sensation.
Reason Behind Constipation
Constipation can occur for a variety of reasons, including when stools pass through the colon at a slower rate than they should. The more water the colon absorbs and the harder the faeces become, the slower food moves through the digestive tract. Constipation can occur when a person poos less than three times per week.
1. Dietary changes, such as low fiber intake or not drinking enough fluids.
2. Eating a lot of meat or chicken.
3. History of colon surgery.
5. History of gastrointestinal disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome.
6. History of pelvic floor disorders.
7. Intestinal obstructions and pregnancy.
8. Lack of physical exercise.
9. Poor posture when seated on the toilet.
It can also results from taking certain medications, such as: Aluminum and calcium containing antacids, anticonvulsant, calcium channel blockers, diuretics, iron supplements, narcotics pain medication and medicines used to treat Parkinson’s disease.
Physical inactivity is another common cause of constipation.
Constipation can also be caused by a lack of physical activity. Previous research has found that physically fit people, including marathon runners, are less likely to suffer from constipation than other people, though the exact reason for this is unknown. A 2013 study concluded that increasing physical activity in the form of regular exercise aids in the treatment of constipation in older adults. People who spend several days or weeks in bed or sitting in a chair due to certain medical conditions are more likely to experience constipation.
One of the most common causes of chronic constipation is dehydration. The food you eat travels from your stomach to your large intestine, or colon. If you don’t have enough water in your body, the large intestine absorbs water from waste. This causes hard stools that are difficult to pass. Constipation can occur when the movement of the colon slows for unknown reasons. As a result, one of the most common causes of constipation is a lack of fibre. People who consume a lot of fiber are less likely to get constipated.
Constipation prevention and treatment
The most important step in treating constipation is to change your diet. It is more important than any medicine you can take because medicine can only help with short-term constipation episodes. In most cases, constipation is caused by poor dietary choices such as a lack of fibre, excessive consumption of junk food, and foods high in fat and sugar. So, the first and most important dietary change you should make is to include more fibre in your diet. This is because fibre encourages regular bowel movements, especially when combined with adequate hydration. Dietary fibre softens and increases the weight and size of your stool. A bulky stool is easier to pass, which reduces the likelihood of constipation. The average American adult consumes about 15 grams of fibre per day, which is far less than what we require. The American Dietetic Association says. Women under the age of 51 should aim for 25 grams of fibre per day, while men under the age of 51 should aim for 38 grams per day.
HIGH FIBER FOODS
3. Whole grains
5. Lentils, chickpeas, and other legumes
LOW FIBER FOODS
High fat foods.
1. High fat foods, such as cheese, meat, and eggs.
2. Highly processed foods, such as white bread.
3. Fast foods, chips, and other premade food
Drinking plenty of water
To help the fiber work better, drink water and other liquids such as naturally sweetened fruit and vegetable juices and clear soups. This modification should soften and make your stools easier to pass. Less water is withdrawn from the colon when your body is properly hydrated. This will keep your stool soft and passable. How to Cure Constipation
Include probiotics in your diet
Incorporate probiotics into your diet. AS some of you may know, our gut contains healthy bacteria that are normal components of our bodies and are critical for proper food digestion. Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are beneficial to your digestion. Probiotics are many different types of bacteria. They all have different advantages, but the majority of them are from two groups: Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. The most important role of probiotics is in the treatment of antibiotic-related diarrhoea, because taking antibiotics for an extended period of time damages the good bacteria in our gut, which can lead to malabsorption and, eventually, diarrhoea.
Do probiotics provide relief from constipation?
Researchers at King’s College in London conducted a study in which they divided people suffering from constipation into two groups. The first group received probiotics for two weeks, while the second group did not. The researchers discovered that probiotics increased the number of bowel movements per week and softened the stools, making them easier to pass. Bifidobacterium-containing probiotics appear to be the most effective. The results of the study were published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.