Constipation or constipation is a problem that everyone has to deal with. Many people, however, remain silent with it – it is not a topic that you easily discuss at lunch ! And that means that the problem sometimes lasts much longer than necessary.
Often you can relieve your bowels relatively easily to reduce blockage. You just have to know how! Today we explain to you what causes a difficult bowel movement and what you do about it.
What is constipation?
Constipation occurs in different degrees of severity. Some people only occasionally suffer from it, with others it is a constant struggle to go to the toilet. Officially, there is blockage if you can defecate less than three times a week.
There may also be many other complaints. For example, the build-up of faeces in your gut often causes cramp and abdominal pain. The abdomen also often feels bloated and the ‘pressing’ on the toilet can hurt.
Constipation occurs because the stool is held in the colon for too long. As a result, the intestines extract too much moisture and the poop becomes too hard. The reason for that slow bowel movement, however, can be anything.
Some people naturally have fewer active intestines, so digested food is not pushed out quickly enough. A fluid deficiency can also play a role: as a result, the body tries to extract too much fluid from the faeces. A bad diet, stress , medication use and too little exercise are also potential factors.
What to do with constipation?
Whatever the cause of the blockage, you want to get rid of it as quickly as possible. And preferably you prevent it from occurring again! Fortunately, there are a number of adjustments that can help you get your bowels moving again. We give you eight practical tips below.
1. Drink enough
Dehydration is perhaps the most common cause of constipation. If you want to get your poo humid, sufficient drinking is the first condition you have to meet! Make sure you get two liters of water a day.
Note: it is better to drink a maximum of two cups of coffee with hard stools. Yes, coffee can have a laxative effect. However, it also has a diuretic effect, and you do not want to dehydrate your body. Tea and water are also excellent options.
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2. Eat soluble fibers
Fibers exist in different types and sizes. If you suffer from constipation, you mainly want to get soluble fibers. They absorb water, so they ensure that your stool becomes smoother and softer. Soluble fibers are found in vegetables , fruit and legumes .
There is nothing wrong with the insoluble fiber in grains, but they will not necessarily help you with your bowel movements. In too large quantities they can irritate the intestines and make the problem worse. Do not eat so much extra!
3. Eat enough fats
Do you eat lean, light and fat free throughout the day? Then it may also be that you do not get enough healthy fats . And they are important for your bowel movement: they provide a ‘smooth’ layer so that everything slides through your gut more easily. In addition, acids are released during the digestion of fats that keep your intestinal flora healthy.
In acute constipation it can help to eat a spoonful of linseed oil or olive oil. After a few hours you can notice a difference. To prevent clogging, you will simply have to include enough fish , avocado , nuts and oils in your diet .
4. Probiotics and fermented food
Probiotics strengthen the healthy bacteria in your intestines. You need these bacteria to ensure that your food is properly digested, and therefore also to prevent problems such as constipation. If you have regular bowel problems, you can consider a probiotic supplement. Please note that you choose something without added sugars .
Furthermore, fermented food is a great way to keep your intestines healthy. Think, for example, of fresh yoghurt , sauerkraut or tempeh . If you fancy a fun project with food, you can also ferment vegetables yourself!
5. Physical activity
Physical exercise is essential to keep your bowel movements working. It stimulates the intestines to continue to pressurize. This prevents your stools from being held too long and becoming too dry.
Half an hour of intensive exercise per day should be sufficient to prevent constipation. That does not necessarily have to be a fanatical sport! You can also walk a long way , go gardening or if necessary scrub your house. If you do not sit still.
6. Eat and shit regularly
Your body likes regularity. If you eat at the same time every day, your digestion is better prepared and the digestion is smoother. That helps your intestines to process that same food again.