As I type this, I’m actually laughing at myself as I vividly recall the events of this particular day where I made the statement above which happens to contain the topic of this blog’s discussion, but I put it out to you that on that day it wasn’t funny at all. Constipation is one of the health issues that can make even a grown person shed tears. That day I had spent hours in the toilet trying to empty my bowel, but it looked like it was taking eternity for that to happen.
You see the issue with constipation isn’t just the difficulty in answering nature’s call but the various discomforts that come with it like bloating, feeling of being overly full, pain while passing stools and various other more serious symptoms like even bleeding in the anal area all in the bid to do something that’s natural.
If you want to know what eventually happened to me that day, lol, well…. I conquered having sweated like someone waking up from a nightmare. I had to do a reflection on what had happened and realized that over the past weeks I was consuming foods filled with too much starch due to cravings; I was having bread almost on a daily, bananas, corn, garri (cassava flakes), hehehehe…talk about starch overload and also, I remember ignoring the urge of going to use the toilet like twice. Although I am a big fan of water, sadly my water alone wasn’t enough to compensate for other bad food choices I had made.
Occasional constipation isn’t something to be really worried about but when it now becomes your new normal to wince in pain and sweat before emptying your bowels then you may need to want to visit your healthcare provider and adopt new lifestyle changes.
So, what exactly is constipation? It is having less than three bowel movements in a week that is also accompanied with severe pain, bloating, nausea and other times bleeding. When a person has not been able to use the toilet for a while, it begins to tell on other areas of their bodies and life in general. Imagine keeping waste in your kitchen for a long time; it begins to rot and smell; in no time it begins to spread throughout the whole house and everywhere becomes inhabitable.
That’s the exact picture when waste products (stools, poop, poo-poo, feces depending on what you choose to call it, lol) stays in our bowels beyond their time. You begin to develop skin issues, headaches, become irritable, experience fatigue and even insomnia and it can eventually lead more serious health complications that may end up requiring surgery like fecal impaction or bowel obstruction.
For today’s blog post, we’d like to walk to through ways on how you can avoid/prevent constipation; prevention is always the way to go and probably in another post we’d open you up to the major causes and the signs and symptoms to look out for so the issue doesn’t get out of hand and home remedies that can be employed.
So here we go……
- Eat foods filled with roughage and fiber on a steady: People who make sure to include foods filled with roughage have lesser chances of getting constipated as these foods help waste move through our intestines with ease. Try out foods like oats, wheatmeal, beans, fruits and vegetables like apples, oranges, spinach and nuts.
- Water up: At this point you should know that water is life and not drinking enough is doing yourself a personal disservice. Water helps with ease in eliminate of waste products from the body and poop isn’t left out as it helps it glide freely from the large intestine till when it’s out.
- Shake that body: Studies have shown that people who live sedentary lifestyles are at great risks of being constipation. Exercise is a great way to keep all our body systems working on point.
- Don’t ignore the urge: I know our day can sometimes get busy but if you feel like relieving yourself, don’t hesitate to go ahead. Constant ignoring of the urge to use the bathroom causes stools to become harder as water is being reabsorbed into the body.
- Avoid laxative overuse: it’s okay to use these to treat constipation but not on a long term, if you get constipated for more than 14 days each time, its best to seek medical attention than constantly living on laxatives because your body becomes overly dependent on them.
- Develop a routine: You might be like developing a routine to go poop? Yes! Put in records a time and place where you’d go to the toilet. This helps train your system to know that it’s part of your daily to-dos. Even if you don’t feel like, just sit there for a few minutes.
Don’t be like me, lol, although I’ve repented (covering my eyes), constipation can really be a challenge and a nuisance that can affect our daily living. Having the right information regarding your health helps in making good health decisions.
Have any questions or you aren’t sure of your symptoms? HCI Healthcare offers you timely help at affordable rates; some of our packages enable you to put a call through and consult with our qualified healthcare staff. So, what are you waiting for?
Have a great week!
Rebecca Adeleke-Adesanmi, BSc. Nur., MA, Healthcare Mgt.
Health & Wellness Advocate,
HCI Healthcare HMO