By Sola lawanson
Everyone of us has been troubled by Constipation at some point in our lives .
The Digestive system is a wonderful Intertwined Network of Tubes , Cavities , Pouches and a Pipeline which secretes Juices and Chemicals to help break down all that you consume throughout the day . To be Released in the form of a Bowel Movement or Stool as it is most appropriately referred to .
But what happens, when you realise that Things aren’t working in the Digestive Department the way they should be ? You begin to Open your Bowels with difficulty , Often having to Strain and pass Hard Stools which can be painful to pass and lead to a number of Problems down the line ?
The answer is : You have become Constipated . And If your Bowels don’t have the same efficiency you would like to have. Going to the Toilet can be a painful visit or Experience , It needs to be sorted .
WHAT IS DIGESTION ALL ABOUT?
The Digestive Journey of your food starts from the moment you place it in your mouth to the time it leaves the Body in the form of a Stool . On the way , This portion of food is subjected to numerous Digestive Juices , acid within the Stomach to break it down , Digestive enzymes in the First part of the Digestive System called the small Intestine . The Food then enters the last stage of its journey within the Large intestine to undergo transformation into a Stool Bulk and is further Transformed with the help of Bacteria in the intestine and Further absorption of Waste products from the rest of the Body, to render This Food Particle a matter, composed of Waste Material, that should be Eliminated from the Body . The one Entity, that ensures the above Processes to take place smoothly and effectively with efficiency is : “FLUID” .
THE START OF CONSTIPATION AND A VICIOUS CIRCLE
Busy working Lifestyles , more Sedentary ways of getting to and from work , Fast Food , Convenience food , preservatives , Processed foods and lack of adequate Water, or Fluid intake, all lead to a Sluggish Digestive Process . Inadequate fluid Content in turn leads to Stool which becomes hard and bulky, Difficult to pass and can be painful . The Part of the Large Intestine known as the Rectum, begins to Distend (Widen) and accumulate Stool matter, which can become hard, as reabsorption of Water from the stool takes place . When the Stool is Finally evacuated , the Rectum is left floppy and will not Push out the Stool matter again, until it is filled up enough. This can then lead to a Long standing Problem which causes ongoing Constipation . This could lead to Weeks and Months of treatment to Rectify.
Other underlying Disorders such as having an Underactive Thyroid Gland , some Bowel Conditions , malabsorption Syndromes, being on certain Medications such as Codeine for Pain , Or the Medications that slow down the movement of the Gut , can also cause Constipation .
WHAT CAN BE DONE TO AVOID CONSTIPATION?
Fluid , Fluid and More Fluid . The recommended daily intake of Eight glasses of Water is mainstay in treating Constipation . Be wary of not including caffeinated Drinks such as Coffee which encourage the passing of more Urine and can lead to Dehydration .
Including a Good amount of Fibre in your diet such as Bran in Cereals . The Skin of Apples contain a Good amount of Fibre as do many other Fruit and Vegetables .
Why not make a Habit of Incorporating two pieces of fruit containing a good amount of Fibre Daily . An Apple and Pear for example , Two Clementines , a small bowl of Dried Fruits , Dried Apricots and Raisins contains much roughage that is necessary for Digestion .
It may take a few weeks for your Bowels to get used to the change in Approach and you may experience Bloating at First. Supplementing this, with plenty of water, will ease bloating and discomfort associated with Increased Fibre intake
ESTABLISH A GOOD BOWEL MOVEMENT ROUTINE
Along with opening the Bowels , aim to choose a particular time of the day whereby you are able to give time and sit on the Lavatory to open your Bowels . The best time for Children to do this is in the Mornings . And for Adults is preferably the evenings , considering the rush most Adults are subjected to in the Mornings . From then on , try to make this the time to open your bowels if not daily, on an alternate day basis . This will encourage the Bowel to be stimulated Regularly . And thus lead to a regular routine .
Regular Exercise such as Fifteen Minutes of Brisk Walking can help with Bowel movement regularity and is overall good for the circulation, Promoting increased blood flow to the intestine, thus improving overall Natural stimulating movements of the Gut called “Peristalsis” .
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN NOTHING SEEMS TO BE HELPING ?
Thats when Medication may have a role in Helping Alleviate Constipation. If nothing else is working, by way of Diet or Exercise, You will need to see your GP incase there is any underlying Cause for your Constipation .
He or She may prescribe you Medications called Laxatives which work in Different ways : Osmotic Laxatives draw fluid from the Body into the Intestine to help Soften the stool . Stimulant Laxatives help to increase movements of the Bowels to help Flush the Stool out . Whichever Medication is prescribed to you , Please Remember to Consult with your GP before buying any Such medication over the Counter . A Pharmacist may be able to help in this Regard too.
If Constipation is left untreated , This could lead to Further Complications such as Piles , a small tear in the Back passage known as a Fissure which can make Opening the Bowels painful and can lead to Further Constipation . It can Also cause Other Long Standing Bowel Problems such as Impaction and Blockage .
Constipation is often considered to be the cause of many other Digestive Problems , So why not make a change to your lifestyle and Diet today and beat the bloat and unpleasant symptoms associated with this very common condition .