7 Things You Can Do to Avoid Constipation

Written by Maryam Saleh

June 7, 2021

Constipation is defined as when stool moves too slowly through the digestive tract. It also occurs when stool cannot be eliminated effectively from the rectum, which causes the stool to become hard, dry, and painful.

Though occasional constipation is common, some people experience chronic constipation that interferes with their day-to-day activities.

What are the Causes of Constipation

The causes of constipation are numerous and they include;

Small tears in the skin around the anus (anal fissure),

Blockage in the intestines (bowel obstruction),

Colon cancer,

Narrowing of the colon (bowel stricture),

Rectal cancer,

Bulging of the rectum through the back wall of the vagina (rectocele),

Problems with the nerves around the colon and rectum,

Difficulty with the muscles involved in elimination,

Diabetes,

Pregnancy, e.t.c.

How to Avoid Constipation

1. Eat a Lot of Fiber

Eating a lot of fibre-filled foods increases the bulk and consistency of bowel movements. It helps them pass through the digestive system more quickly, easily and avoid constipation. There are different dietary fibres, but in general, they fall into two categories: insoluble and soluble fibres.

Insoluble fibres are present in vegetables and whole grains. They add bulk to stool and help them pass quickly and easily through the digestive system.

Soluble Fibers; present in nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, peas, and fruits. They absorb water and form a gel-like paste, which softens the stool, improves its consistency, and avoids constipation.

Examples of Some High-Fibre Foods

Whole grains

Such as whole wheat bread and pasta, oatmeal

Legumes

Such as lentils, black beans, kidney beans, and soybeans

Fruits

Such as berries, apples with the skin on, oranges, dates, and pears

Vegetables

Such as carrots, broccoli, green peas, and spinach.

Nuts

Such as almonds, peanuts, and groundnuts.

2. Drink Plenty of Fluids

Dehydration can cause constipation. To avoid constipation, it is important to drink enough water and stay hydrated which is good for your overall health. Naturally sweetened fruit and vegetable juices and soups help fibre work well.

This should make your stool softer and easier to pass.

3. Conduct Regular Exercises 

Gentle exercises like going for regular walks, swimming, cycling, or jogging, e.t.c. helps with digestion thereby, avoiding constipation.

Stay as active as possible for your general well-being as well.

4. Eat Prebiotic Foods

Prebiotics are an indigestible carbohydrate fibre. Although dietary fibres prevent constipation by improving the consistency and bulk of stool, prebiotics has their effects by improving digestive health by feeding the beneficial bacteria in the gut.

In fact, some probiotics may help increase the frequency of bowel movements, as well as make stool softer and avoid constipation.

Prebiotic foods include garlic, onions, bananas, e.t.c.

5. Avoid Fast Foods!

Foods like; chips, burgers, pizza, meat, frozen meals, snack, processed foods; such as hot dogs or some microwavable dinners are bad for you.

They contain high calories which cause indigestion and are not healthy for the body. 

6. Try to Manage Stress

Get a lot of rest, exercise, eat healthy food, do what you like in your leisure time, connect with family and friends, go out and have fun.

Lastly, don’t be hard on yourself.

7. Don’t Ignore the Urge to Sass stool

Whenever nature is calling, don’t wait, don’t ignore it, just go. Its nature’s call! When you ignore it, the moisture: is been absorbed thereby making it dry and hard. Try to create a regular schedule for bowel movements, especially after a meal.

Conclusion

Constipation can hamper the normal functioning of your body system, that’s why it’s best prevented by practising the tips provided in this post.

Perhaps, you have struggled with constipation in the past, how did you overcome it?

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