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Constipation

Constipation

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.

References

www.medicinenet.com

www.medicalnewstoday.com

www.health.harvard.edu/blog/probiotics



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