What is Constipation?
Constipation is a common digestive problem. Many people suffer from occasional or chronic constipation. Constipation may be accompanied with other problems, such as, bloating, abdominal pain and a feeling of fullness.
Food passage through the intestines and final bowel discharge may be very different from person to person. While 2-3 bowel movements a day may be normal for some people, others have only 2-3 bowel movements a week, but still not having constipation. Because of this, constipation includes symptoms such as:
- slow motion bowel discharge,
- bowel movement is difficult and requires great effort and
- amount of stool is too small
Measures that facilitate digestion and passage of food through the intestines should be determined depending on the cause of constipation.
First, it refers to the composition of food. Person who suffers from this unpleasant problem should eat a variety of foods, especially integral cereals, vegetables and fruits. Fruits contain fruit acids that increase the urge for bowel movement. All three listed groups of foods, especially cereal products contain ballast substances. These substances which are only partially digested increase the volume of intestinal content. Pressure on the bowel wall causes irritation that allows the bowel discharge. Fibers additionally bind water that cannot be reabsorbed, and thus emphasizes this effect. Whole grains, bran in the first place, but also the flax seeds, legumes and dried fruits are particularly rich in ballast materials.
Patients, suffering from constipation, should drink enough fluids. Even if a person doesn't feel thirsty, he/she should drink each day at least 1.5 l of fluid. Fluid includes mineral water, tea and coffee, fruit juices and partially buttermilk while caloric and alcoholic drinks should be avoided. A glass of wine or beer also does not hurt. It can be helpful to drink a glass of water before breakfast, that the afternoon bowel movement could be performed. In general, drinking glass of water before meals is beneficial.
Preventing constipation means everyday's physical activity. It may be, for example easy walk for improving digestion, or climbing stairs, gymnastics or other sports.
Sufficient and regular sleep is also important for digestion. Intestinal activity is often reduced and 'tired' after a sleepless night.
Time to eat should be provided and it shouldn't be eaten too much at once. It will be much easier for digestive tract to digest five small meals than two or three larger meals.
Also, time to go to the toilet should be provided and even a small urge to defecate shouldn't be neglected. Intestine should get used to regular discharge, for example after breakfast.