Everyone has experienced a few days in our lives when we fell like a balloon that just won’t pop. The uncomfortable feeling that lasts for days, weeks in some cases. For most guys, it’s an opportunity to experience a tip of the iceberg of what it’s like to be pregnant, the limitless feeling of freedom we experience when we finally offload, a deeper appreciation for instances when we are not bloated and have a regular bowel movement.
One of the most common digestive problems around the world today is constipation. Constipation is an unusual digestive disorder that occurs when there is great difficulty or inability to pass stools causing great discomfort in the body system in general, making the stool harder and difficult to pass out of the body, affecting some body functions, also making the stomach swell (bloating).
Constipation and bloating
The most common after-effect of constipation is bloating. Bloating is an unusual swelling in some parts of the body. It is accompanied by abdominal discomfort and a constant feeling of fullness. Bloating from constipation makes the stomach to swell.
Due to blockage in the anal outlet as a result of stool confined in the colon, the inability to pass out gas from our system causes the gas to build up, the more gases are built up, the more bloated we become, it later becomes very visible when our stomach begins to show signs of swelling.
Constipation can sometimes be stopped at its early symptoms, which may include:
- stomach ache and abdominal cramp
- Loss of appetite
- Infrequent bowel movement
- Passage of dry hard and lumpy stools
CAUSES OF CONSTIPATION
Some common causes of constipation include:
- Staying at a particular spot for a very long time
- Dehydration; not having enough body fluid is a very common cause of constipation
- Dieting: our body tends to react when we change our routine diet and this often causes constipation
- Reduction in fiber intake can affect our body metabolism and cause constipation
- Lack of exercise
- Ignoring the urge to move your bowel
- Swollen veins in the anus
- Some women are also known to experience constipation at the early stage of their pregnancy
- Constipation is a common symptom of colon cancer as a result of narrowing of the colon
- Frequent consumptions of foods that are low in fiber content
- Constipation is a sign of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Taking carbonated drinks early in the morning
A lot of factors are responsible for causing constipation, some are self-induced, others as a symptom of chronic illness. Some examples of foods that cause constipation are; milk and dairy products, processed grains, alcohol, unripe banana, caffeine, rice, red meat, carbonated drinks, etc.
WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU ARE CONSTIPATED
- Eat foods that are rich in fiber such as beans, apple, citrus fruit, berry, Broccoli, avocado, dried fruits, pear, banana, and baked potatoes. Fiber-containing foods such as this help to soften and stimulate bowel movement.
- Drink lots of water, especially in the morning. Excess absorption of water in the large intestine (colon) causes hard stool. Water helps to hydrate and soften hard stool for easy passage through our colon.
- Exercise more: aerobic exercise increases your heart rate and accelerates the rate at which food passes through the large intestine.
- Take prune juice, apple juice, or pear juice to help soften your stool
- Take herbal drugs such as ginger tea, marshmallow root, peppermint tea, senna, psyllium, slippery elm. Herbal drugs have been known to have close to immediate effect in solving constipation problem.
- Seek professional help. Seeing a medical doctor not only helps to solve your constipation issue but tests performed by a medical doctor can also help to discover whether constipation you are experiencing is a symptom of a deadlier health issue.
Constipation can easily be avoided by taking note of its common symptoms. It is very important to treat constipation as early as possible in other to prevent other complications such as the increased risk of a cardiovascular event, bloating, rectal bleeding and pain during a bowel movement, leakage of liquid stool, and torn skin in your anus.
According to the national digestive diseases information clearinghouse, constipation that lasts three or more days is considered too long and you are advised to seek professional help. It is important to see a medical practitioner when you can’t get rid of constipation after two to three days using home and natural remedies else it will advance to a more serious health issue because the longer the stool stays in your colon; the more time bacteria have to ferment what is there.