Most people think they are constipated but are actually not. The frequency of motions may differ from person to person. Most people pass motion every day whereas it may be normal for some to pass motion every other day or 3-4 times a week. Therefore, constipation may be described as changes in the frequency of motions in an individual, which are typically hard, small and difficult to pass. Most of the time constipation could be due to a bad diet. Sometimes constipation could be due to an underlying disease, it could be due to stress, or it could be due to a medical problem for which you could consult your physician before radically changing your diet.

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 fiber intake. The kind of fiber existing in whole wheat, 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 whole-wheat flour in the proportion of 1:1 and make chappatis. Most of the time this alone can help your problem. If not then try increasing your water intake. Try drinking lukewarm water on waking up, and 2 glasses of regular water at room temperature ½ -1 hour before lunch and before dinner. Remember most cases of constipation are due to insufficient water intake.

Many people, who travel frequently on business trips or on holiday, 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 problem, you have to give your system time to settle down in a new environment to work normally. When one is traveling, access to whole-wheat chappatis (which you may be normally consuming at home) may not be there. Usually the cereal available at most restaurants is rice or noodles or rumali roti, or pasta, or naan, all of which are low in fiber and therefore can cause constipation.

Another cause of constipation could be a very low oil intake. There are people who switch to boiled foods in order to lose weight. Such dieters will experience constipation due to reduced fat intake. A minimum of 2-3 teaspoons of oil or ghee should be taken daily (if overweight) and 2-3 tablespoons (if underweight), to prevent this problem.

Some iron preparations like ferrous sulphate are highly constipating. Anaemic patients taking such iron pills experience severe constipation. They should instead consume lots of soup made from mutton bone, chicken broth, and lots of fish. Methi leaves, most pulses, soybean and fish are all good sources of iron. A mixture of carrot + Tomato + Beetroot juice is also known for its blood building properties. Capsules containing dried haemoglobin are also available in the market. These may not be as constipating as ferrous sulphate.

Most calcium supplements and antacids may also be constipating. Diuretics cause excessive urination and could cause difficulty in passing stools and they become hard. Also, holding on to your stools makes them hard to pass later on. Try and visit the toilet at approximately the same time every day.

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, leading to the formation of hard stools. You could check out your system with a cup of strong coffee. But don’t rely on it constantly as it could be addictive. Exercise is a habit that can help fight constipation. Walk 30 minutes daily for 6 days a week. It will go a long way in correcting your problem.

For personalised diet plans, call toll-free 1800-266-0607 and book an appointment with Health Total experts.

April 9, 2019

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