Constipation is a common problem that no one likes to talk about. In addition to it being embarrassing, it's also quite uncomfortable, especially when accompanied by other issues like gas and bloating. And while it can seem like this bowel issue occurs suddenly and without warning, the truth is that your lifestyle habits can play a major role.
A good diet is key to overcoming lots of common health issues. However, constipation can also result from other factors, including the medications you're currently taking. Reducing constipation often requires a concerted effort to enhance nutrition while also adjusting other factors in your life. Here are a few steps to help you get started.
1. Lack of Hydration
Proper water intake is crucial for good bowel function. Along with the many health benefits that water provides, it also keeps your bowels lubricated and operating as expected. That's why people with a lower intake of water typically experience more bouts of constipation. While your exact water intake depends on things like your activity level, there are some general guidelines to consider. Adult males should consume at least 15.5 cups of fluid every day, while adult females usually require 11.5 cups per day.
2. Certain Medications
Numerous medications can affect the function of your bowels. For instance, if you take painkillers for a chronic pain condition, it's likely you've experienced constipation on a recurring basis. Other medications, including antidepressants and allergy drugs, can also cause gastrointestinal issues. If you experience side effects, talk with your doctor as soon as possible. They may be able to recommend a different drug or a lower dosage to reduce them.
3. Overuse of Laxatives
It might seem counterintuitive, but laxatives can actually hamper the function of your bowel. That's because your body may become dependent on these medications, which can then lead to problems going to the bathroom when you're not taking them. Chronic constipation requires a closer look to determine the underlying cause. Additionally, you should always follow the instructions on the label to ensure you're taking medication correctly.
4. Excess Dairy Intake
Cheese and other dairy products are beneficial to your health, but too much of them can be a bad thing. Excess dairy decreases the rate of digestion, which can lead to constipation, gas, and bloating. While you can still enjoy dairy products, make sure you're also eating plenty of fiber to keep your bowels healthy. More fiber is always better when it comes to the digestive process.
5. Bowel Disorders
People with certain bowel disorders experience a wide range of gastrointestinal symptoms, such as chronic diarrhea and bloating. However, these conditions can also cause inflammation in the bowel, which may eventually lead to constipation when the problem is severe. In addition to receiving treatment for bowel disorders, adjusting your diet, and taking natural supplements can also help with digestion.
In addition to bowel disorders, health issues like diabetes also have an effect on bowel movements. Nerves all over the body are impacted by this condition, including those in the bowel. When nerves are not properly stimulated, you'll find it a lot more difficult to go. Accordingly, you must ensure that your diabetes is well controlled. If you take medication for the issue, make sure you're taking it according to your doctor's orders. You should also eat a diet that's designed specifically for people with diabetes, which ensures you're getting sufficient nutrients.
Keep in mind that a healthy lifestyle is key for dealing with lots of nagging medical issues. By improving what and how you eat, you'll feel better, have more energy and experience fewer digestive issues.