How To Help Constipation

How to Help ConstipationHow To Help Constipation

Constipation is one of the most troublesome conditions people can suffer. Without the proper intervention, constipation can worsen and can affect your entire body system.

Constipation can be avoided. Below are some ways provided by Patient.co.uk on how to help constipation:

Eat foods that contain plenty of fibre

Fibre (roughage) is the part of plant food that is not digested. It stays in your gut and is passed in the poo (faeces, stools or motions). Fibre adds bulk and some softness to the stools. High-fibre foods include the following:

  • Wholemeal or whole-wheat bread, biscuits and flour.
  • Fruit and vegetables. Aim to eat at least five portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables each day. One portion is: one large fruit such as an apple, pear, banana, orange, or a large slice of melon or pineapple; OR two smaller fruits such as plums, satsumas, etc; OR one cup of small fruits such as grapes, strawberries, raspberries, cherries, etc; OR one tablespoon of dried fruit; OR a normal portion of any vegetable (about two tablespoons); OR one dessert bowl of salad.
  • Wholegrain breakfast cereals such as All-Bran®, Bran Flakes®, Weetabix®, Shredded Wheat® and muesli. A simple thing like changing your regular breakfast cereal can make a big difference to the amount of fibre you eat each day.
  • Brown rice, and wholemeal spaghetti and other wholemeal pasta.

Although the effects of a high-fibre diet may be seen in a few days, it may take as long as four weeks. You may find that if you eat more fibre (or take fibre supplements – see below), you may have some bloating and wind at first. This is often temporary. As your gut becomes used to extra fibre, the bloating or wind tends to settle over a few weeks. Therefore, if you are not used to a high-fibre diet, it is best to increase the amount of fibre gradually.

Have plenty to drink

Aim to drink at least two litres (about 8-10 cups) of fluid per day. You will pass much of the fluid as urine, but some is passed out in the gut and softens the stools. Most sorts of drink will do, but alcoholic drinks can be dehydrating and may not be so good. As a start, try just drinking a glass of water 3-4 times a day in addition to what you normally drink.

Sorbitol

Sorbitol is a naturally occurring sugar. It is not digested very well and draws water into the gut, which has an effect of softening the stools. In effect, it acts like a natural osmotic laxative (osmotic laxatives are explained later). So, you may wish to include some foods that contain sorbitol in your diet. Fruits (and their juices) that have a high sorbitol content include apples, apricots, gooseberries, grapes (and raisins), peaches, pears, plums, prunes, raspberries and strawberries. The concentration of sorbitol is about 5-10 times higher in dried fruit. Dried or semi-dried fruits make good snacks and are easily packed for transport – for example, in a packed lunch.

Exercise regularly, if possible

Keeping your body active helps to keep your gut moving. It is well known that disabled people, and bed-bound people (even if just temporarily whilst admitted to hospital) are more likely to get constipated.

Source: Patient.co.uk

Aside from the methods above, there are also foods that can help in relieving constipation. According to MedicineNet, the following foods can help your condition:

  • Prunes. Researchers at the University of Iowa tested dried, pitted plums (prunes) against psyllium (a laxative) in 40 adults who were constipated. Those given the plums had measurably higher spontaneous bowel movements than those given the laxative.
  • Beans. Beans have more than 10 grams of fiber per cup serving — that’s more than almost any other fiber source. “Beans have a great mixture of soluble and insoluble fiber, which helps the food keep moving through your intestines,” King says.
  • Kiwi. The luscious green flesh of the kiwi may be just what the doctor ordered. One medium kiwi has about 2.5 grams of fiber and lots of vitamins and nutrients that are important for good health, including your intestines.
  • Rye Bread. Researchers at the University of Finland in Helsinki found whole grain rye bread to be better than wheat bread and laxatives for relieving constipation. They reported their findings in the Journal of Nutrition in 2010. Their subjects ate enough slices (12.3 grams each) to get 30 grams of fiber a day. But you don’t have to eat that much for it to work.

Source: MedicineNet

These are some of the things that you can do in order to help constipation. Take note of them and as much as possible, try incorporating the said foods in your diet.

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