- Understanding Constipation
- Preventing Constipation
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Occasional Constipation—That Very Common
Occasional constipation is a very common problem. But unlike other common medical conditions—like the common cold—people tend to suffer in silence and not take steps to deal with it. In a survey conducted by the makers of Senokot® and Colace® products, 58% of those surveyed said they would rather talk about sex than constipation. For the 4 million Americans who suffer from it6, it's time to bring the subject out of the closet and get people the relief they want.
What Causes Constipation?There are several common causes of constipation. Take a look at this list and you will see that many of them are ones you can address through some simple changes in your lifestyle. Others you can and should talk with your doctor about. The most common of them are:
- Poor Diet: Fatty foods, too many calories and too many processed foods can lead to constipation. These types of food choices lack sufficient fiber. Also, not eating at regular times can throw your digestive system offtrack.
- Lack of Exercise: An inactive lifestyle can contribute to constipation.
- Inadequate Liquid Consumption: Failure to get enough water can contribute to constipation.
- Stress: High stress in your life can impact you in a number of ways that may contribute to constipation.
- Medications: Many medications—both prescription and over-the-counter medications—can contribute to constipation.
- Medical Conditions: Including Surgery, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, hemorrhoids and childbirth^, to name a few, can lead to occasional constipation.
You Can Improve Your Digestive Health
Putting a smart, yet simple digestive health plan in place can help you avoid occasional bouts of constipation. So where do you begin? It’s simple. Take a good look at what you eat, drink and do.
Diet Delivers—Are you eating enough fiber? According to the U.S. National Institutes of Health, people who eat a high-fiber diet are less likely to become constipated. Fresh fruits, vegetables and grains contain important fiber that your body needs.
Love Your Liquids—Liquids add fluid to the colon and bulk to your stools—both of which can make your bowel movements softer and easier to pass. So, drink plenty of water and other non-caffeinated drinks, unless you are fluid-restricted.
Move to Move—Yes, you need to keep moving to keep your bowels moving. Try to create an exercise or activity schedule that you enjoy and will follow at least three times a week.
Listen Up— Pay attention to the signals your body sends you—that urge to go is a signal you need to respond to. Try to set aside time each day for your bowel movement and get in tune to your body’s rhythms and signals.
Stress Stoppers—Give yourself a break. Understand what stresses you have to live with and those that are self-imposed. Find ways to deal with the everyday stresses that life hands you.
^If pregnant or nursing, ask a healthcare professional before use