Remain under no pressure: Understanding constipation

Most people think they are constipated but are actually not. Frequency of motions may differ from person to person. Most people pass motion everyday whereas it may be normal for some to pass motion every other day or three to four times a week.

If you notice a change in your bowel movements, don’t reach out for a laxative immediately. Try and figure out the root cause of constipation. Most of the time it is due to insufficient fibre intake. The kind of fibre that exists in wholewheat grains, fruits and vegetables help relieve constipation.

Wheat bran, which forms the outermost covering of wheat, is an excellent natural laxative and helps clean motions effectively. Add wheat bran to wholewheat flour in the proportion of 1:1 and make chapatis. Most of the time this alone can help you. If not, then try increasing your water intake. Try drinking lukewarm water on waking up, and two glasses of regular water at room temperature an hour before lunch and before dinner. Remember, most causes of constipation are due to insufficient water intake.

Many people who travel frequently or go on holidays, develop constipation due to a change in routine. It could be attributed to change in food, water and change in timings of passing stools. In order to avoid this, you have to give your system time to settle down in a new environment.

Another cause could be a low oil intake. There are people who switch to boiled foods to lose weight. Such dieters will experience constipation due to reduced fat intake. A minimum of two to three teaspoons of oil or ghee should be taken daily (if overweight) and two to three tablespoons (if underweight) to prevent this problem.

In most cases, it has been seen that coffee has an amazing laxative effect. But it is also known to contribute to constipation in some. This could possibly be due to its diuretic effect, which could disturb the fluid balance of the body. You could check out your system with a cup of strong coffee.

Exercise can help fight constipation. Walk 30 minutes daily for six days a week. It will go a long way in correcting your problem.

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First Published:
Apr 13, 2019 14:49 IST

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