Constipation: Causes and Treatment

Constipation is a common digestive disorder. It leads to either hard stools or dry stools, making for a painful time at the toilet. Individuals suffering from it feel discomfort even after leaving the toilet.

The causes for constipation differs from case to case, but some of the main reasons are:

  • If there is a disconnect between the nerves and muscles of the gut and they are not working towards the same goal.
  • If an individual is under any form of stress
  • If the individual is not physically active
  • If the individual’s diet is not balanced, like lack of fiber content
  • Conditions including dehydration, pregnancy, hormonal disruptions like overactive thyroid 
  • Consumption of specific medicines like painkillers and/or antacids regularly
  • If the individual travels to a new place, it leads to a change in dietary habits which can then lead to constipation
  • It is sometimes caused by rectal blockages

To combat constipation, you can follow the following steps:

  • Drink loads of water throughout the day and stay hydrated
  • Reduce the intake of caffeine and alcohol
  • Eat more fiber which includes:
    • Soluble foods like rice, potato, and fruits, which help to ease digestion within the body
    • Insoluble food items like bran, oats, whole grains, veggies which acts as probiotics and produces good bacteria and SCFA (Short-chain fatty acids) in the body
  • Include prunes, sweet potatoes, lentils, whole grains, ghee, olive oil, nuts, avocado, coconut in your diet
  • Limit the use of psyllium husk or laxatives. These substances do not go through the fermentation process and can develop nutritional deficiencies if used for a long time.
  • Do not use the toilet for too long as you can risk getting an E. coli infection.
  • Try sitting in a squat position while sitting on a toilet, or put a footrest under your feet and move ahead on the seat
  • Take walks and try stay physically active as much as possible
  • Deep breathing and meditation help with the gut and brain axis

Due to summer being around the corner, constipation may become a more common occurrence if individuals don’t ensure they stay hydrated. Drink coconut water, and more liquids to make sure you can stay healthy and enjoy the sun.

Authored by:
Dt. Deepta Nagpal 
©Deepta Nagpal

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