For the proper functioning of the digestive system, the intestines should be emptied regularly, every day. It is best to do it more than twice, but it often happens that people go to the toilet only a few times during the whole week. We must not consider this condition as normal, because it is probably constipation.
The term constipation is used to describe a situation where the colon cannot be emptied, although it needs to be emptied. Constipation is usually an easily solved problem, but if left untreated, it can turn into a chronic condition, which can have more serious consequences in the long run. In addition, what causes this condition, the link between diet and constipation and how to solve it most easily.
The most common causes of constipation
The reasons can be various. The slower the food moves through the digestive tract, the more water is absorbed by it, making the feces too hard. The most common cause of this condition is insufficient hydration (drinking water) and lack of fiber in the diet.
However, constipation can also be caused by a number of conditions and health disorders, such as:
- physical inactivity
- some thyroid problems
- Operations on parts of the digestive tract
- certain therapies (overuse of laxatives, diuretics, various supplements, Parkinson’s disease medications, etc.)
- delaying the need for a toilet
- some intestinal diseases
- some neurological disorders
What are the symptoms?
• hard stools
• stool that is difficult to move through the colon
• dry and firm stools
• weaker, but also sharp pains in the abdomen
• Impaired appetite
As mentioned, this condition is usually easily overcome and harmless, but if not treated properly or lifestyle changes, constipation can lead to more worrying conditions, such as bleeding, more severe mechanical stagnation of stool through the intestinal tract, anal fissures, hemorrhoids , and ultimately colorectal cancer.
Lifestyle change, the best cure for chronic constipation!
Those who often have a problem with this condition, it is best to look at the essence of the problem. Why does the problem keep recurring? There is probably something wrong with your diet and lifestyle. When it comes to constipation, the most important lifestyle habits that should be adopted to prevent it are a healthy diet, regular physical activity, regular drinking of water, but also stress management. The most important part of a healthy diet that can directly help are fiber, probiotic foods and fresh foods rich in water. Fiber intake should be at least 25-31g, daily. So, fresh, whole grains, legumes, nuts, etc.
What foods should you avoid during constipation:
• dairy products – except probiotic yogurt
• fast food and any type of processed food
• fried foods
• red meat and meat products
• sweets of different kinds
• white bread
• caffeinated beverages
Additional Practices That Can Help With Constipation
• Do not delay going to the toilet
• Try to make habits according to which you will go to the toilet at certain parts of the day
• Read the fiber content of all products and maximize your intake of fresh food
• When defecating, try to lift your legs on a low chair while sitting at school
• Eat small snacks throughout the day (for example, nuts rich in fiber) and eat several times after smaller meals
• Find ways to deal with stress
• Eat soups and drink more teas
When you should ask for help?
Usually this condition passes quickly on its own, ie without prescribing any medication. Lifestyle changes such as a healthy diet, drinking water, physical activity are usually sufficient, but if this is not enough you should contact your doctor. You should contact your family doctor immediately and if you have constipation it appears suddenly for no apparent reason or when combined with:
- sudden weight loss
- sudden pain in the abdomen
- symptoms that only get worse and do not cease to last.