What is constipation? What is the reason for constipation? How can we prevent constipation? These questions are now common among all people. Constipation is common problem among children, adult, non-pregnant women and pregnant women. Constipation is the difficulties passing stools due to formation of hard and dry stool. In other word we can say if someone has fewer than three bowel movements a week; we termed it as constipation.
After consumption of food, food is passing through gastrointestinal tract, during this time food nutrients are absorbed by small intestine and undigested and unabsorbed food particle pass through large intestine and temporarily stored in the rectum. This unabsorbed particle called as waste. While passing through large intestine water is removed from waste. Finally feces or waste expel to out through anus. Feces composed of undigested fiber, intestinal bacteria, and dietary fats.
There are so many reasons for constipation. It can be lifestyle related issues or medical causes. The main cause for constipation is lifestyle. Lifestyle factors are changes in routine, low fiber diet, insufficient water, lack of regular exercise, tendency to “put off” going to toilet, medication, pregnancy, aging, and illness. Therefor to prevent from constipation we have to change our lifestyle regarding above factors.
Most of the people when they are working, and travelling ignore to go toilet. It is affect their regular pattern of the bowel movement. Our body is a biological clock. It works according to the clock. Therefor to prevent the constipation it is important to maintain proper time for it. Another main cause of the constipation is low intake of dietary fiber. What is dietary fiber? Dietary fiber is available in plant material. In the gastro intestine dietary fiber are not digested or partially digested. There are two types of dietary fiber. They are soluble fiber and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber present in legumes, fruits and vegetables. Insoluble fiber is available in wheat bran, wholegrain breads and cereals. This dietary fiber adds bulk to the feces and easily pushed along the anus. Soluble fiber helps to soften the feces by absorbing more water. When softening feces can passes through anus without any difficulties. Insoluble fiber adds bulk to the feces and helping to move more quickly through the bowel. It means reduce the transit time of stool. Therefor including enough fiber in our diet can significantly reduce the chance of developing constipation. Most of the adults are avoiding dietary fiber in their meal. Each and every adult should take 25g fiber per day. Although, we should not increase the fiber intake suddenly because it will leads bloat and flatulence. So we have to increase it gradually as well if we intake more than the recommendation also leads to constipation. Therefor fiber intake should not exceed beyond the required level. Along with dietary fiber we should drink plenty of fluids because if we do not drink enough water with high fiber diet it will lead to constipation again. Therefor to avoid constipation we have to make sure that we are drinking enough water. For a day about 2L to 3L of water should intake. We can intake water through juices, other drinks, tea and etc. it is not must to intake only plane water. Any how it is better to cut off the amount of caffien, alcohol and fizzy drinks you consume.
Being physically active will greatly reduce the risk of constipation because sedentary lifestyle is a now common cause of constipation. Having physical activities for 30 minutes per day make you more active and healthier. The more you active less chance of constipation you get.
Some medication also causes for constipation. For that we can use laxatives along with those medicines. Laxative are the medicine used to avoid constipation. Long term use of laxatives can lead to laziness. So we have to limit the intake.
During pregnancy action of hormones reduce the activity and pressure of the growing uterus against the intestine. It can cause constipation in pregnant women. As well aging is a big problem for constipation in elderly people because with a age they are digestive system function is fallen down as intestine muscle contractions are reduced. To avoid constipation among elders they should intake more dietary fibers and water in their diet. Due to chewing problem in elders have to use soft foods. People who have illness, and hospitalized they also have constipation because they are sedentary and food intake is low. For them can use laxative to avoid constipation.
Moreover, chronic constipation can leads to other complications such as hemorrhoids, colorectal cancer and other intestine problem.