Have you been having three or fewer bowel movements a week? You might be suffering from constipation which is infrequent bowel movements or difficult passage of stools that persists for several weeks or longer.
It might be a brief strain on the toilet resulting from a poor diet, stress, lifestyle habits a medical condition or surgery, or it might be chronic.
Despite the cause, the good news is, you can find relief —
Mostly severe constipation happens because you are not eating enough of the right foods (or in the right quantities), taking enough water or exercising enough.
When this is the case, the fixes are simple: Exercise, increase water intake water and include fibre to your diet (or take it as a supplement) to add bulk to your stool.
To some, probiotics work the magic.
Make time to move your bowels
Try eating breakfast first thing at home and then move your bowels.
Food will most likely give the urge to go, and you probably feel most relaxed in your home bathroom.
Don’t get too relaxed in the bathroom though — the more time you spend on the toilet, the more likely you are to strain for bowel movements. Intentionally leave your phone behind during those bathroom trips.
Do not delay a bowel movement either, for it can make constipation worse.
Watch your plate-
A change in diet can work for or against you matter bowel movement.
An abrupt fat elimination for example may cause a block since you need a little fat for movement through your bowel.
Fibre is not always the answer
Some people experience more blockage when they add fibre to their diet, and this may be caused by “slow transit constipation,” a condition where the bowel does not move things quickly through, fibre sits in your gut and can make you feel worse.
If fibre worsens the situation, do not add more. Consult your doctor.
Be conscious enough to know when to see your doctor
When the recommended changed do not move the bowel, it is time for a doctor’s visit.
It’s vital to see a professional if you have other symptoms such as dizziness, fatigue, cramping or spasms.
Chronic constipation can be a sign of conditions such as:
- Celiac disease
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
If your constipation is acute and nothing seems to improve the condition, other options are available with a consultation with your doctor.
The options include laxatives, and pro-motility drugs that a doctor can prescribe.
Start with simple fixes first, and when they fail, don’t suffer needlessly.
If you feel your bowel movements are not what you would consider normal, consult your doctor, who will advise on treatments or refer you to a specialist who can help get your bowels moving again.