ALSO READ: Ingredient of the week: Sesame oil
Almost every adult has dealt with constipation at least once in their lives. Constipation is a condition of the digestive system which occurs when the colon has absorbed too much water from the food passing through it. The result is an individual having hard stool that is difficult, almost impossible to expel.
The colon is the part of our digestive system that is responsible for absorbing water from what is left after absorption in the small intestines. If food takes longer in the colon, more water is deducted from it leaving hard fecal matter that causes us pain while pooping.
Apart from water absorption, you could also suffer constipation from lack of exercise, aging, some medication and lifestyle habits like poor diet choices, not going to the toilet when needed and overuse of laxatives.
Despite being an uncomfortable situation, you can easily manage constipation by:
Increasing fiber intake
High-fiber foods are loaded with vitamins and minerals and are usually low in fat and calories. Pears, apples, berries, oranges, tangerines, carrots, squash whole-wheat breads, brown rice and nuts are all rich sources of the fiber you need to ease your constipation.
ALSO READ: The best foods to eat before a workout
Engaging in physical exercise helps constipation by reducing the time food takes to move through the large intestine. This ensures that water will not be absorbed in unnecessary amount hence your stool will be okay.
Dehydration is one of the most common causes of constipation. This is because if you do not take adequate amounts of water, your body will absorb it from food as it passes through your colon. The result will be a hard to pass stool.
Reduce dairy products intake
Dairy products like milk, cheese and cream have been known to cause constipations to lactose intolerant people. As bacteria in the colon ferment undigested lactose, they produce methane gas which has been known to make the passing of food through the colon slow. When having constipation, keep away from such foods as they will only make it worse for you.
Coffee has been found to increase the urge to go to the bathroom because caffeine stimulates the muscles in your digestive system. This readily available drink also contains small amounts of soluble fibers that help prevent constipation by improving the balance of your gut bacteria.
Go when you should
Holding your poop time after time may result in bloated bowels and problems with normal stooling in the near future. This is because the longer you hold the stool in your colon, the more water is absorbed and the harder it becomes. You should poop whenever you feel the urge to avoid constipation.
Over-the-counter or prescription laxatives
Sometimes eating the right food may be a little too late to solve your constipation case. Laxatives (substances that loosen stools and increase bowel movements) can help relieve constipation and allow you to pass poop. Those can be bought over the counter after a doctor’s prescription and should be taken with moderation.
The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Evewoman.co.ke