Constipation is a common term used these days, which implies difficult bowel movement or less frequent expulsion of digestive wastes than normal. At some point of life, almost all of us would have experienced this condition and it may not be usually a serious problem. However, it will be of great relief to get our system back on track. Prolonged constipation may be a symptom or a cause for various other major health issues, so it is advisable not to take constipation light!
What indicates constipation?
The normal duration of bowel movement varies from person to person. It could range from thrice a day to once or twice a week. Retention of waste for more than three days would lead to hardening of stools and more difficult to expel. Here are the signs that can clearly indicate constipation
• Less frequent bowel movement than normal
• Straining or having trouble in bowel movement
• Small pellets or hardening of stools
• A sense of incomplete bowel movement
• Abdominal pain accompanied by swollen abdomen
• Nausea and vomiting
What causes Constipation?
The most important reason could be the kind of food intake. One needs to keep vigilance over what goes into the alimentary canal. Diet poor in fiber and water content, excessive intake of dairy products, sedentary lifestyle, intake of antacids with aluminum or calcium, change in regular diet patterns or activities, long distance travelling, overuse of laxatives, eating disorders, colon cancer, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, use of narcotics, antidepressants, iron pills or tonic, hypothyroidism, and stress could trigger off constipation.
A delay in bowel movements for more than two weeks calls for an immediate diagnosis, which may include, a blood test to check on hormonal levels, Barium test, and colonoscopy to look for blockages in the colon.
Getting Rid of Constipation:
Simple steps given below could be of great help in keeping constipation at bay.
• Intake of warm fluids early in the morning on an empty stomach.
• Including an apple everyday in the diet. The fiber in the apple is similar to Sorbitol, which clings to the intestinal water creating larger and softer stools.
• Consumption of dried Apricots which will promote regular bowel movements.
• A concoction of few figs boiled in a glass of milk taken before bed time will work wonders to ease the bowels.
• Consuming 100 ml of spinach juice with equal quantity of water twice a day proves to be an effective cleansing method to cure stubborn cases of constipation.
• Including fruits such as orange, papaya, pineapple and prunes in the diet everyday will act as natural laxatives. However, prunes can be used minimally if you have trouble with kidneys or gall bladder since it is rich in oxalates.
• Brussel sprouts and Zucchini support the formation of soft and bulkier stools enabling quick and comfortable elimination thus preventing colon cancer.
• The addition of legumes (lentils and beans) in the diet would be a rich source of magnesium and fiber which can magically cut down on constipation.
• A good intake of water and a regular exercise regime should be the easiest and best source of relief from constipation.
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