What is Constipation?
Constipation occurs when food moves too slowly through the colon and the colon absorbs too much water. This leads to dry, hard faeces that is hard to expel. There are many causes for constipation such as inadequate fibre in the diet, certain medications and diuretics can all cause constipation. Hormonal changes can also lead to constipation.
Another cause of constipation is smoking cessation. Nicotine has a laxative effect and withdrawal from it can cause constipation. Dehydration can also cause constipation. Chronic constipation is defined as being constipated for more than three months or being constipated more than three times per month.
The symptoms of constipation are stools that are hard to pass and pain in the abdomen. There can also be pain, and it can be severe, upon passing stools. Another symptom is straining while passing stools. There can also be a sensation of not voiding the bowels completely and a lack of urge to go.
You mau also experience a tender swollen or bloated stomach. Your pants may not fit as well as they used to; they may be tight and hard to button. You can also experience fatigue and lack of energy. Constipation can make you feel sluggish and just not quite right.
It is possible that this condition could also be symptomatic of other more serious diseases so it is important that you consult you medical advisor if the symptoms are not alleviated or reoccur frequently.
The very first step in alleviating constipation is to increase the amount of fiber in your diet. You should switch from refined carbohydrates to whole grains. Think wheat bread and brown rice instead of white rice and white bread. You also need fruits and vegetables everyday. The minimum is a combination of five servings; two fruit servings and three vegetable servings. For optimum health you should really strive for nine servings everyday.
Keep in mind that high fibre foods such as broccoli and beans can cause gas until your body adjusts to them. These foods should be added into your diet slowly. Do not distress if you do experience some flatulence or gas, because it will go away over time.
Bananas and prunes contain high levels of potassium which helps clear faecal matter off of the colon walls. Pineapple also contains high levels of potassium and is a good food for fighting constipation.
Herbs that work well as laxatives are aloe, buckthorn and frangula. Rhubarb and flax seed are also natural remedies for constipation. Along with taking herbs as a supplement and making dietary changes you need to drink plenty of water. This will dispel dehydration and make passing stools easier. At least 30 to 40 minutes of exercise is advisable everyday.
This will keep your body in balance and has been proven to help remedy constipation. Regular exercise, the right diet, and herbs should clear up your constipation rather quickly. Please see your doctor if you do all of these things and do not get any results.
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