We’ve all faced constipation now and then. It’s so common that you might not realize you’re going through it. It might take days before you realize you haven’t gone to the bathroom. Even ignoring the urge can cause constipation.
Learning how to treat constipation relies mostly on prevention. You must focus on the most prevalent causes. Luckily, how to prevent constipation is mostly a matter of minor lifestyle changes.
Understanding constipation: The fundamentals
Constipation refers to a disruption in your bowel movements. You might go to the bathroom less often. It could also take more effort. It’s not too serious, and it’s typically temporary. You also need to consider how your body works.
Not everyone goes to the bathroom every day. You might go a few times daily while others do it a few times weekly. Some people go to the bathroom a couple of times in one day. Yet they go two days without doing it afterward.
How do you know if you have it?
The first sign is going to the bathroom considerably less than you usually do. However, straining is a better symptom of constipation. You shouldn’t need considerable effort to drop stools.
You can also experience other symptoms. Some patients feel bloated or like they didn’t defecate completely. Your stools will likely harden and reduce their size.
How to prevent constipation: Understanding the causes
Understanding how to treat constipation equals how to prevent constipation. You target the root: nutrition, hydration, and more. Fortunately, most cases resolve with relatively minor lifestyle changes.
We can summarize the staple constipation factors into five. However, you should always visit your doctor. Constipation tends not to show noticeable reasons. Eating more fiber and drinking more water is a great start.
If that doesn’t work, make sure to look for professional help.
Hydration and constipation
Fluid management is one of the best first steps to relieve constipation. Dehydration is a typical factor behind this condition. That’s because your intestine soaks water from your food if you’re not hydrated. That hardens and makes stools harder to pass.
Constipation and nutrition
Diet changes are among the most prevalent causes of constipation. Your body adapting to nutrient shifts often results in constipation. However, some diet programs—like the carnivore diet—willingly neglect fiber.
Constipation and physical activity
Regular physical activity is also a traditional treatment for chronic constipation. However, there’s still heated debate behind it. On the other hand, exercising boosts your metabolism. It makes your body require more nutrients, which could trigger bowel movements “to make space.”
Treatment side effects
Like diets, medication can also result in constipation. Opioids are common causes, but there are dozens of categories. Pain relievers, blood pressure medication, and some supplements have similar results.
Constipation and mood
Almost everyone feels grumpy when they’re constipated. However, the opposite is also possible. Feeling anxious, stressed, or depressed could interfere with your bowel movements.
The holistic takeaway
The good news is that constipation is usually a minor issue. It takes a while for it to become a serious health concern. If you feel like your bowel movements are slowing down, make small changes.
- Drink more liquid, especially warm.
- Eat more greens, fruits, and bran cereal.
- Try exercising a little more.
- Try a laxative if other methods aren’t working.
The signs that you should see a doctor are quite noticeable. Blood in stools, physical pain, and chronic constipation require care. Essentially, go to a doctor if you feel your bowel movements are disrupting your life.