Being constipated is one of the worst feelings ever… Our stomach looks and feels like it is about to explode from the bloat and we can longer fit into any of our favorite skinny jeans. If it makes you feel any better, we’re all together in this misery.
Almost 16 per cent of Americans suffer from constipation, according to National Institute of Digestive and Kidney Disease. Women are more likely to have the symptoms due to their dietary restrictions.
What exactly is Constipation?
Constipation is a common digestive complication related to our bowel movements which can make pooping a very painful and unpleasant experience.
Constipation isn’t very hard to identify since some of its most common symptoms include hard stool that is difficult to pass and infrequent bowel movements. In most cases, people suffering from this complication aren’t able to go to the toilet more than thrice a week. However, in some cases, the symptoms can become more severe and may require urgent medical attention.
According to health experts, healthy people normally have more than 3 bowel movements a week. But if you’re not going to the toilet frequently enough, it’ time to get to the bottom of the situation and figure out what’s causing your constipation.
Here are some of the most common culprits behind the problem and how you can overcome them to make your bathroom trips a lot more frequent and pleasant.
It’s the Vacation Food
If you’re suffering from constipation, there is good chance that your digestive problems could have been triggered by a recent dietary change.
Jordan Karlitz, a certified gastroenterologist, says that many patients develop constipation symptoms after they go on a vacation. This is because they eat foods that their bodies don’t usually processs. This can cause confusion in their digestive system, leading to short-term changes in bowel habits.
One way to avoid vacation-related constipation is by making sure that you stick to your normal diet as much as possible. Also, try to eat foods high in fiber to aid in digestion. Karlitz suggests having fortified cereal every morning while you’re traveling to keep your tummy from getting in the way of having a great vacation.
You’ve Stopped Exercising
Karlitz says that exercise isn’t just good for losing weight but it also helps our digestive system and makes it easy to poop. But once we stop working out after having a consistent schedule, our digestive system gets out of whack making us more likely to become constipated.
You’ve Been Stressing Out Lately
Stress has a huge impact on our bowel habits. This because our gut’s gastrointestinal behavior is controlled by the enteric nervous system. Change in sleeping habits or taking too much stress can affect your hormones and throw your gut-brain relationship out of balance.
Your Pain Meds Could be the Culprit
Taking pain medication can cause a number of side effects – constipation being one of them. Karlitz says that most of her clients on long-term pain meds like narcotics and opioids experience symptoms related to constipation.
In case your prescription medication is making you feel backed up, talk to your doctor. He might recommend taking a stool softener while you’re on pain killers.
You Need to Drink More Water
If you’re feeling constipated, a high-fiber diet will only help you if you’re hydrating your body with plenty of fluids. Drinking plenty of water is the key to good bowel habits. However, caffeinated and alcoholic beverages don’t count since they cause dehydration, making you even more backed up than usual.