How To Reduce Or Prevent Constipation Naturally
Constipation is defined as having difficulty in emptying the bowels. A constipated person may have to strain to pass the hardened stool or may feel like he or she isn’t completely emptied. We can also define constipation by having less than three bowel movements per week. Constipation may happen occasionally or frequently. When constipation becomes chronic or bothersome, it may be for several reasons which might include several health problems.
Constipation could occur due to several reasons. The main causes of constipation are not drinking enough water or not eating a lot of fiber-rich foods and vegetables. Dehydration may cause constipation as there is less water in your stool, causing it to harden and difficult to pass out of the body. Other reasons may include medications especially, narcotics like codeine, surgery, inactivity or a bowel obstruction. Constipation may cause hard stools, tear in the anus, hemorrhoids or pile, anal tear, rectal bleeding, abdominal pain or swelling, abdominal discomfort, abdominal swelling, and bloating.
Constipation may not always be serious but when accompanied with abdominal pain, it can be a sign of a bowel obstruction which is a medical emergency. Regardless of these facts, there is still a strong link between not emptying your bowels and colorectal cancer.
Constipation is relatively easy to treat. The first line of action assuming no other medical condition, is to drink a lot of water. It is recommended we drink half of our body weight in ounces to keep our bodies hydrated; which equals to a minimum of 3 litres daily for a person weighing 60kg. Staying hydrated will also keep the stools softer and ultimately, may reduce constipation. Eat a diet rich in fiber such as green vegetables, legumes, certain grains, dried fruits and nuts.
Finally, get off the couch or seat and keep active. Regular exercise helps the bowels keep moving. The fiber also helps too.
Also, exercising regularly is beneficial against constipation; moving your body will keep your bowels moving too.
If diet and exercise aren’t enough to improve your bowel movement, there are herbs and supplements that may help. Just keep in mind that these herbs just like any other medicine, are to be used for a short period of time unless the doctor states otherwise. Psyllium is a natural fiber laxative that creates bulk in the stool and often used to treat chronic constipation. Senna is also a plant with laxative properties and are effective against constipation. Ewedu or jute leaves used in Nigerian indigenous cuisine, is also very good for dealing with constipation as it is extremely high in fiber. Slippery elm is an herb that stimulates the nerves of the gastrointestinal tract to produce mucus and make passing stools much easier. Rhubarb is a reddish vegetable that resembles a celery and can be used as a laxative.
In conclusion, constipation is not normal and needs to be addressed as soon as possible because, it could be a sign of a greater health emergency. It’s imperative that we keep our bowels moving by drinking enough fluids, eat fiber-rich foods and keep active.
Have a wonderful, healthy and happy new week!!