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A Dietitian’s guide to relieve constipation

 

What is Constipation?

Constipation is a problem where you may have fewer than three bowel movements per week, stools that are tough, dry, or thick, stools that are hard or painful to pass, a feeling that not all the stool has passed.

Even so, people can have distinct bowel movement patterns, and only you know what’s usual for you. Constipation is not a disease; it may be an indication of another health-related issue. Constipation may possibly last for a long or short time.

How common is Constipation?

Constipation is typical of all ages. About 16 out of 100 people have symptoms of constipation. About 33 out of 100 people age groups 60 and older have symptoms of constipation.

What are the signs and symptoms of Constipation?

Symptoms of constipation may consist of fewer than three bowel movements weekly, stools that are tough, dry, or lumpy, stools that are tough or hurtful to pass, and a feeling that not all stool has passed.

What causes Constipation?

You might be constipated for several reasons, and constipation may have more than one reason at a time. Reasons for constipation may include slow movement of stool through the colon, late emptying of the colon from pelvic floor disorders, specifically in women, and colon surgery, stomach disorders, like irritable bowel syndrome.

Medicines and dietary products that can make constipation more intense include antacids that contain aluminum and calcium, calcium channel blockers, diuretics, iron supplements, medicines used to treat Parkinson’s disease, narcotic pain medicines, some medicines used to treat depression

Constipation can take place when daily routine alters. For instance, bowel movements can alter if you become pregnant, as you get older when you travel when you ignore the urge to have a bowel movement if you change your medicines if you alter how much and what you consume.

Specific health and nutrition issues can cause constipation include not eating enough fiber, not drinking enough fluids or dehydration, not getting adequate physical activity, celiac disease, spinal cord or brain injuries, diabetes, hypothyroidism.

Nutrition Guidelines for Managing Constipation

Constipation is frequent during cancer treatment. Constipation can be induced by the location of cancer, minimal physical activity, reduced fluid intake, medications, surgery, reduced or restricted food intake, consuming a low fiber diet, or consuming too many foods that cause constipation.

Here are some guidelines to reduce constipation and maintain the bowels moving more frequently:

Increasing consumption of fiber and liquid may help feel much less constipated and bloated. It is essential to realize that there are two types of fiber in the diet: Soluble Fiber and Insoluble Fiber.

Soluble fiber is fully digested by the body and helps in reducing cholesterol, balancing blood sugar, and getting rid of other toxins existing in the digestive tract. Examples of foods that include soluble fiber are oats, beans, legumes, sweet potatoes, onions, and fruits such as apples, bananas, and pears.

Insoluble fiber is not digested by the body and is passed as waste. This encourages bowel regularity and discourages the growth of hemorrhoids. Examples of foods that include insoluble fiber are wheat bran, nuts, seeds, and skins on veggies and fruits.

Both soluble and insoluble fiber are essential for all-round health and nutrition. When you are suffering from constipation, it may be useful to involve more insoluble fiber in the diet to promote regularity. It is essential to raise fiber gradually over the course of a couple of weeks. Adding too much fiber too rapidly can make constipation more serious.

Drink plenty of fluids.

Fluid helps the body process fiber with no irritation. A good beginning goal is 8 glasses of fluid a day.

Progressively increase fiber consumption.

The daily aim should be between 25-35 grams. Fiber is mainly found in plant foods, such as fruits and vegetables, beans, legumes, whole grain cereals, bread, and oatmeal.

Consume 3-5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily. Select whole fruit instead of juice. Consume the skins and seeds for extra fiber. Seek to have a fruit or veggie with each meal or snack.

Decide on meals that encourage regularity. Eat cereal, bread, and pasta that are prepared with 100% whole grain. Have brown rice in place of white rice or potatoes.

Pick hot cereals like oatmeal or cold cereals with at least 5 grams of fiber. Opt for whole wheat bread, whole corn instead of refined items. Consume more beans, lentils, and peas. Include them to soups.

Beans can be gas building, so include them slowly. If you experience bloating or irritation, you may need to limit them in the diet.

Try plum or prune juice.

Begin with a small amount like a half cup. Consuming dried prunes may also aid relieve constipation.

Involve in physical activities

Try to incorporate exercise or physical activity in the daily routine. Physical activity is a pure way to aid constipation. Constantly talk about any exercise or physical activity with the healthcare team prior to making changes.

Talk to the Dietitian about medicine or supplements to aid with constipation. There are over-the-counter medicines that might assist with constipation but you should often check with the doctor first prior to taking anything.

Note: The article is written by Delhi’s one of the best dietitian.

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