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HWLH News Letter for March 2020 - Issue #0076 - Causes and Treatment for Constipation
March 01, 2020
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March 2020 - Issue # 076 - Causes and Treatments of Constipation
Hello Everyone and Happy March.
Isn’t it wonderful that spring time is almost here?
It’s the time of year when we get that itch to get more active and look forward to all those wonderful things you can do during the warmer months.
Whether it is work, play or leisure, many folks look forward to things such as gardening, back yard projects, swimming, hiking or sun tanning on the beach.
Whatever activities that gives you that “get active feeling”, will soon be here.
But no one likes feeling bogged down or bloated, which leads me to this month’s topic, “the causes and treatments of constipation”.
There is nothing more exhausting than sitting on the throne for what seems like an eternity, only to surrender to a simple task left undone.
When this happens we are forced to go through the day carrying around those extra internal pounds which are usually accompanied by stomach discomfort and bloating.
You may have constipation if you experience the following:
Have three or fewer bowel movements in a week
The stool is hard and dry
If stools are difficult to pass and/or painful
Bowel still feels full after bowel movement
These symptoms happen because food is moving slower than it should through the large intestine.
Most people experience constipation at one time or another, but usually life style changes and eating healthier foods can help alleviate symptoms.
Causes of Constipation
Typically a poor diet is the main cause of constipation. This is usually caused by insufficient amount of daily fiber and fluid intake.
Sources of fiber are found in plant foods such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains that add the necessary bulk that we need for proper digestion.
The selection of fiber rich foods is plentiful and most supermarkets also stock an assortment of organic varieties as well.
There are times (at no fault of our own) when we need medications to help us improve the quality of life, but unfortunately some medications can cause constipation.
Here is a list of medications that may (check side effects) cause constipation:
Pain medications that contain codeine (are the biggest culprit)
Blood pressure medications
Antispasmodics (drug that suppresses muscle spasms)
Antacids that contain aluminum and calcium
Lack of Physical Activity:
Exercise plays a large role in preventing constipation because it helps stimulate the natural contraction of the intestinal muscles which helps move stools out quicker.
Overuse of Laxatives
People sometimes need to use laxatives to help relieve them of body waste, and occasionally that is not a problem.
But some believe it is an easy way to help achieve weight loss. Laxatives should not be used as a weight loss tool.
Typically what happens is the person must increase the dose over time and the body becomes reliant on laxatives in order to have a bowel movement.
The outcome is laxative dependency.
Treatment/Prevention of Constipation
Eat a diet which is rich in fiber.
Fiber rich foods include:
Beans and Legumes
Minimize the amount of refined, processed or junk foods from your diet. These foods have been stripped of their natural fiber.
Two Types of Fiber and How They Help:
Soluble fiber dissolves easily in water and takes on a soft texture which helps to soften the stools.
Insoluble fiber passes through the intestines almost unchanged which adds bulk to stools and helps stimulate bowel movements.
All fiber rich foods are good whether they offer soluble or insoluble fiber.
A healthy diet can relieve constipation and help greatly with weight loss.
What is one of the best meals you can enjoy to help prevent constipation?
It seems too simple to be true, doesn’t it?
Try to incorporate a good amount of homemade soups into your diet, especially the ones that contain vegetables and/or legumes.
Not only are soups a good source of fiber but they are high in water content too. Consider this the perfect combination when battling constipation.
This is going to sound crazy, but it is not unusual in my family to enjoy a bowl of soup for breakfast. It can offer a perfect start to the day as it is filling yet easy and fast to digest.
We have many easy-to-make soup recipes on our website you can whip up. If you have a little time, we hope you’ll give one a try.
Try to Avoid Dehydration:
Drink plenty of fluids throughout the day.
Healthy fluids that are recommended are:
Fresh fruit or vegetable juices that have not been processed
The above listed fluids will help hydrate the body, eliminate toxins and can provide a multitude of health benefits.
Liquids make bowel movements easier to pass because adding fluid to the colon adds bulk to stools making them softer.
Avoid colas (soda), coffee and alcoholic drinks as these beverages can act as a diuretic, which means they pull water out of the cells and body, leading to more frequent urination, leaving your body even less hydrated.
If these types of beverages are consumed, try to drink even more water than usual so you can counteract their effects.
As we mentioned above, physical activity helps the intestinal muscles move stools out of the body faster.
Try to include at least 20 – 30 minutes of some type of physical activity every day. It can be as simple as taking a walk or doing some yard work.
Causes of Constipation During Pregnancy
It is a common problem during pregnancy and symptoms can usually be relieved by increasing fiber and fluid intake.
This happens because the growing uterus can put pressure on the rectum. Then there are pregnancy hormones to deal with that can slow down the movement of food in the digestive tract. Iron Pills can also add to the problem.
Do not take any herbs or over the counter laxatives without first consulting your doctor or health care practitioner. Some of these laxatives may cause contractions.
Prevention is Easier than Treatment:
Enjoy a sensible diet which contains lots of fruits, vegetables and other fiber rich foods
Drink lots of healthy fluids that can hydrate your body
Incorporate a minimum of 20 – 30 minutes of exercise into your daily schedule
Do not ignore the urge to have a bowel movement
Thanks for joining us this month and hope you try some of our soup recipes this month.
Your Opinion Counts:
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