Saturday, 8 February 2014

DEALING WITH CONSTIPATION !!!

Dealing with Constipation!!!



Constipation as we all know affect everyone at one time or another in our lifetime, this does not exclude babies, toddler and even the older citizen. 
    According to medical practitioners constipation has been defined in different ways such as:

  •  The opening of the bowel in less than three (3) times per week.
  •  The need to strain before any bowel movement can take place on more than a quarter of occasions. 
  •  The passing of a hard or pellet-like stool on more than a quarter of occasions. 
  •  The inability to pass stool (poo) regularly as expected or inability to empty your bowel completely.


Constipation could be chronic (long-term) causing discomfort and may affect quality of life and it could be short-term, the severity varies with individual. Constipation affect twice the number of women than men, while older people are five(5) times more likely to have constipation than younger adults because of medication, lack of exercise, and diets.

Causes of Constipation
There are many things that predispose us to constipation, because the severity differs with everyone, so it’s hard to say the exact cause of constipation but the following often increase our chance of having constipation:
  •   When there is a change to Lifestyle and eating habit
  •    Side effects of certain medication, some iron and calcium supplements predispose us to constipation
  •   Anxiety and depression
  •  Inadequate consumption of fiber such as fruits and vegetables
  •  Pregnancy- According to NHS about 40% of pregnant women experience constipation during the first trimester of their pregnancy.
  •   Medical conditions such as colon or rectal cancer, diabetes also predispose to constipation
  • Poor diets

Complication
There is little or no complication to constipation when treated on time and promptly, but if it’s a long-term condition the following may be experienced:
  • Haemorrhoid (pile)- these are the swollen blood vessel around the anus and rectum which may result in itching, swelling, pain or bleeding around the anus
  •  Faecal impaction or faecal incontinence


Treating Constipation
There are few ways of treating constipation but we will be focusing on nutrition aspect today. Nutrition experts recommend about 25-30g of fiber consumption daily but most of us rarely follow this, gradual steps need to be taken when treating constipation. Studies have confirmed that consumption of the following food help in treating constipation:

Beans: I know there are lots of people that rarely consume beans because it makes them to fart, but trust me Beans provide twice the amount of fiber you can get from same quantity of some vegetables. Beans such as navy beans, kidney beans provide as much as 9.5g and 8.2g of fiber per half cup serving. We should try as much as we can to incorporate beans into our regular diet, apart from the fiber content; it is also a good source of protein.



         Whole-Grain Bread: They are good source of high dietary fiber, low fat and complex carbohydrate, to keep a distance from constipation whole-grain bread should be supplemented with other type of bread. I have tasted many seeded bread and I can testify they are more healthy than any other bread, be it in sandwich or as part of a meal

   Broccoli: This is another great source of fiber; broccoli is low in calorie with high nutrients contents. The best way of getting the most of vegetables such as broccoli is by steaming, broiling or baking them for few minutes so as to retain their nutrients.
 Nuts: Brazil nuts, peanuts and walnuts among other healthy nuts provide high fiber content and help in treating constipation,
 but caution must be taken when eating nuts because 
they are calorie-dense.
      
 Plums, Pears and Apple: The following fruits were selected because of their edible skin which is high in fiber, other fruits may also be included as you desire.
     
 Whole grain Cereal: Most of the cereal manufacturing company are doing tremendous work by increasing the fiber content of their products, even if you feel the fiber content of your cereal is not enough, you can add some dried fruits and nuts to your cereal to get the required fiber per day while also adding more flavour and nutrients to your breakfast.

   Popcorn: This is a low calorie snack which work well with constipation especially if the cause is lack of fiber, popcorn is a whole-grain.
    Healthy Dried Fruits: Dried Fruits such as dates, figs, prunes, apricots and raisins are great source of fiber that helps in treating constipation.






Much emphasis has been placed on fiber, because they are not digested by our digestive system like every other food that we consume and so they retain water as they pass through our gut which also aid in softening our stool and relieve constipation.

If you do not experience any significant changes to how you feel after few days please kindly contact your doctor for proper medical check-up.



Thank you

Source: NHS and Everyday Health


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