Modern lifestyle relies on an unprecedented indulgence in fast foods and junk foods. Add to that addiction to electronic gadgets and what you have in hand is an onslaught of several lifestyle-related diseases. The prevalence of diseases like diabetes, heart-related problems, high blood pressure, morbid obesity, and other neurological diseases have been attributed directly to lifestyle problems. In addition to the diseases above, constipation is extremely common nowadays. Constipation can be defined as a condition wherein a person has infrequent bowel movements. Even when a constipated person has bowel movements, they often suffer from the passing of hard stool. This is associated with several other diseases. Today we shall try to envisage the whole gamut of problems related to constipation and their possible cure.
The primary causes of constipation are as follows:
- Dietary fibre: Low intake of dietary fibre is one of the important causes that lead to constipation. A normal person should eat at least 25 to 30 gm of dietary fibre every day. But regular consumption of refined food from breakfast to dinner reduce overall fibre intake of an individual and thereby causes severe constipation. Intake of dietary fibre will also help if you have a weight loss diet plan
- Water: Limited or reduced intake of water is another cause of constipation. Water helps to normalize and maintain the body’s overall function. It also helps in normal regular bowel movement. So less water intake may cause constipation.
- Stress and insomnia: Stress is also responsible for constipation. As our brain controls all bodily functions, stressful situation directly affect muscle movements. So excess stress is often thought to cause constipation.
- Sedentary lifestyle: Sedentary lifestyle contributes to constipation. Physical activity helps in proper muscle movement and aids proper bowel movement.
- Laxatives: Excess use of self-prescribed laxatives is very harmful. Laxatives also bring about constipation because after a certain period of time body does not respond to laxatives.
- Some diseases and medicines are also responsible for severe constipation. Hypothyroidism and diabetes are also associated with irregular bowel movements. Some medicines like pain killers, antibiotics and other neurological drugs are often directly linked to constipation.
What should you do to overcome the constipated condition?
- Diet: Most important thing is to modify your diet pattern in order to overcome constipation related problems. Firstly, include lots of fiber in your daily diet plan. There are two types of fibre: soluble fiber and insoluble fiber, both of which are required for a proper bowel movement. But foods containing insoluble fiber are more important because they add bulk to the stool and therefore, help in bowel movement. Eat wheat bran, vegetables, and fruits with skin, whole grain and seeds for increasing total fiber intake. Drink lots of water, – at least 8-10 glasses per day. In case you do not like to drink too much water, then increase your intake of soup, dal and other liquid foods. Control your portion size because binge eating or over-consumption of junk food and fast foods or skipping meal affect one’s metabolism which is related to the formation of hard stool and irregular bowel movements.
- Physical activity: Regular physical activity, in addition to having a balanced diet, help in relieving constipation. Activity helps in proper movement of a muscle. Squatting exercise is helpful for constipation. Exercise helps in smooth movement of food in proper time so that our body does not absorb excess water from a stool. This mechanism prevents hard stool formation.
- Lifestyle modifications: Lifestyle modification has great impact on constipation. Proper sleeping time and maintaining proper gaps between food help in reliving from constipation. Avoidance of junk food along with regular consumption of at least 8-10 glasses of water per day, would help in reliving in constipation.
By following above mentioned guidelines you can have some relief from constipation. Now I will share some foods which are good for treating irregular bowl movements:
- Include prune juice or dry prunes in your regular diet. Prunes are considered as natural laxative as they contain sorbitol which helps in proper bowl movement. So if you take prune juice or dry prunes in empty stomach, they may help you get rid of constipation.
- Dates also very good for treating constipation as they have high volume of fibre
- Include homemade curd in your daily diet. Curd helps to manage gut bacteria and act as probiotic.
- Include bael fruit in your diet as they contain lots of fibre. They are also considered as natural laxative. So if you drink bael sarbat with curd, it will be very helpful in reliving constipation.
- Last but not the least; include raisins in your diet. Eat water soaked raisins in your diet. You can add them to your breakfast cereal or in smoothie, or you can eat them in raw form.
Constipation is a very common problem so follow the above mentioned tips and live a smooth life.