Constipation is one of the most common conditions that many people have experienced before. Constipation is a condition of the digestive system where the feces are hard to expel.
Constipation is defined medically as fewer than 3 stools per week and severe constipation as less than 1 stool per week. It is usually caused by the slow movement of material through the large bowel.
You may experience some of the following symptoms:
- Straining to have a bowel movement
- Hard or small stools
- Lower abdominal discomfort
- Rectal bleeding caused by hard stool
Here are some of the common causes:
- Lack of fiber intake in daily diet
- Lack of water intake
- Lack of physical activity
- Side effects of some medications
- E.g.: Narcotic pain medication (morphine, codeine), Antidepressants
- Ignoring the urge to go to the toilet when needed
How can we prevent constipation?
- Increase fiber intake as fiber helps to maintain a soft and bulky stool.
- Add more fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains in the diet
- Add a protein shake loaded with fiber as breakfast. (for example, use PureNourish). This is a quick and simple way to add more fiber.
- Remember to drink adequate amount of water (6 to 8 glasses a day) Caffeinated drinks don’t count as those can dry you out. You should replenish with water after your coffee or tea.
- Use quality probiotics. Studies show probiotics help to soften stools, increase the number of bowel movements and making them easier to pass.
- Exercise regularly
- Avoid holding stools
Be proactive in making some changes listed above to prevent constipation.