We all suffer or have suffered from constipation. Whether your children or you as an adult or senior suffer from it, it is a very uncomfortable (sometimes even painful) health problem. In fact, about 4 million Americans – especially women – suffer from blockage regularly. So it’s high time we listed the most important things: what is constipation? What are the symptoms, and how do you relieve this medical issue?
What is Constipation, and How Do You Recognize It?
Constipation often means not going to the toilet much, if at all, for number 2. You probably feel bloated en uncomfortable, if constipation lasts longer then it’s possible you experience pain in the lower abdomen. How is it possible that you can’t go? Well, bowel movement becomes less frequent, making it very difficult for the body to pass stool. When you go to the bathroom less than 3 times a week to poop, this is considered constipation. However, this can vary from person to person; for example, some people go several times a day for number 2, while others go no more than 1–2 times a week. This makes your bowel movement pattern unique, which makes it hard to tell you if you suffer from constipation.
That’s why it’s important to always look at your stool, do you have trouble pooping – or is it even painful – and is the stool hard, dry, and small, and does your pooping schedule deviate noticeably from your normal schedule? For example, do you “go” several times a day, and did this change to every other day; you probably suffer from constipation. How likely you are to get constipated depends on several factors. For example, women and the elderly are more likely to suffer from it, but also people who are chronically ill and on medication or have neurological or digestive problems are more likely to suffer from constipation.
First, it’s very important to drink enough fluids, like water, lemonade, and tea. If there isn’t enough water in your stool, your body will have a hard time making healthy stool, which eventually causes a blockage. Often this is the problem when someone experiences constipation and bloating and to relieve this doctors will always recommend drinking more fluids, like water. Treatment depends on what causes constipation, sometimes foods can help, but sometimes medicines like laxatives are the better solution.
Foods That Relieve It
Plums, also known as dried plums, are one of the most common foods to relieve constipation. This fruit contains a lot of fiber, which increases the amount of fluid in your stool. In addition, it also provides short-chain fatty acids in the colon, which has a positive effect on stool weight. And as if all this weren’t enough, they also contain sorbitol which has a natural laxative effect on the colon. Please note that this does not work for everyone.
Just like plums, sweet potatoes are high-fiber foods, which help a lot with relieving constipation. Studies show that after 4 days of eating sweet potatoes – about 7 ounces a day – relieved their constipation symptoms. Eating sweet potatoes for – more than – 4 days doesn’t sound very appetizing, but try to vary between cooked, baked, steamed, mashed, and/or roasted potatoes, which makes them different every time you eat them.
Foods That Cause It
In case you thought you could relieve your constipation with more “fluids containing alcohol”, I bring bad news. Several studies show alcohol as one of the products that are likely to cause constipation. If you drink alcohol in large amounts, it may increase the number of fluids lost through your urine, causing you to get dehydrated. Once again this varies from person to person.
Fried and/or Fast Food
Eating a lot of fried and/or fast food can also increase the possibility of constipation. Whether you eat small portions on a regular basis or large portions at once, both may cause uncomfortable blockages. These products contain a lot of fat, but hardly any fiber, which is exactly what you don’t want for your colon, as it may slow your digestion.
Of course, the above-mentioned foods and treatments aren’t the only ones to relieve constipation, that’s why it is important to do your own online research as well. Start your search here: