Constipation is a common problem that affects both men and women regardless of their age. Some might think the condition is a negligible problem. However, frequent constipation is a clear sign that there is something wrong with your digestive system. Moreover, chronic constipation almost always leads to hemorrhoids with time, which are deemed by many an embarrassing condition. But besides being embarrassing, hemorrhoids are also a serious, painful ailment that quite often requires surgery.
Since prevention is always better than cure, let’s look at preventive measures with regard to constipation:
The proper amount of fiber in your diet is definitely the most important measure when it comes to constipation prevention. Essentially, fiber is part of certain foods that cannot be digested by our body. As a result, it goes through the digestive system making stools softer.
Vegetables, fruits, whole grains, oatmeal, seeds and nuts are foods that naturally contain fiber in large amounts. People who consume enough of it hardly ever suffer from constipation. However, if you haven’t been a big fan of high-fiber foods before, you should introduce them into your diet gradually as too much fiber – especially if you’re not used to it – often results in excessive gas production, bloating and even diarrhea.
Dehydration is often a cause of constipation. You should watch out for signs and symptoms that indicate you may be dehydrated. Health experts suggest that no less than 1.5 liters of fluids a day should be drunk by an adult person. And keep in mind this number should be much bigger if you work out or sweat excessively in hot weather.
However, not all fluids are good for the purpose of constipation prevention. For example, coffee, soft drinks and alcohol are known to inhibit bowel movements. So, plain water or green tea are the best options to stay hydrated and keep constipation at bay.
While a sedentary lifestyle contributes to constipation, among many other health problems, being physically active promotes the proper functioning of the digestive system and bowel movements. Opinions on how much time a week you should dedicate to exercise may differ; however, many health experts agree that 150 minutes a week is usually enough for most people.
The right toilet habits imply going to the toilet whenever you feel such an urge. Unfortunately, it’s not always possible. Well, at least try not to suppress the urge for too long. It can pass if you delay your visit to the loo, but that would mean that you’ve just increased your risk of constipation. Also, remember not to exert yourself when passing stools, but rather let your bowels do the job naturally.