Constipation may be due to the slow movement of food through the digestive system. This may be due to poor diet, dehydration, medications, chronic illness and diseases affecting the nervous system or some mental disorders. Constipation is not a disease. Constipation may be characterized as passing stool less than three times a week. For some people constipation may occur rarely while for others it may be a chronic condition. It may refer to lumpy or hard stools, difficulty or unable to pass stool and a sensation of incomplete evacuation. Constipation may be due to the slow movement of food through the digestive system. This may be due to poor diet, dehydration, medications, chronic illness and diseases affecting the nervous system or some mental disorders. Being constipated can be frustrating and uncomfortable at the same time. Some dietary changes and lifestyle modification can keep your bowel movements regular. If these do not help you should consult a doctor.
- Add roughage to meals: Both the fiber, soluble and insoluble is necessary for the smooth functioning of the intestinal system. Most plant foods contain some or the other fiber. You should include foods containing high amount of soluble fiber in your diet which includes oatmeal, potatoes, dried beans, rice bran, barley, citrus fruits and peas.Avoid junk, processed foods, cheese, meat and ice creams as far as possible.
- Break free from a sedentary lifestyle and move more: If you are suffering from chronic constipation, regular physical exercise can be beneficial. Exercise is extremely important for regular bowel movements. Physical inactivity may be one of the major causes of constipation. Exercise helps dealing with constipation by lowering the time it takes for food to move through the large intestine. A regular walk, running, yoga or swimming can keep your digestive tract healthy.
- Handle emotions in a better way since the gut and brain are closely connected: This may be new to you but your gut and brain are closely related to each other. If you are stressed, worried, troubled or depressed then this can have a negative impact on your digestive system.
- Clear your bowels around the same time each day: You should choose a fixed time each day in which you try to have a bowel movement. As a thumb rule, it is best to pick up a time that is after twenty to forty minutes after eating. Many doctors recommend going in the morning, about twenty minutes after eating your breakfast. Spend around ten to fifteen minutes on the toilet to see if you can have a bowel movement. Make sure you do not strain as you try to go.
- Sit the traditional way: You should change the way you sit on the toilet. It can help in passing a bowel movement easier for you. You can also try leaning your back on the toilet seat, with your feet raised on a small footstool. This position can make evacuating the bowel much easier than sitting vertically upright. It allows you to press down with your feet to increase the muscular pressure on your abdominal area.