What Causes Constipation?

Image by hunterseakerhk
Image by hunterseakerhk

Constipation is one of the more common digestive ailments. It is right up there with heartburn, acid reflux, and stomach pain. Many people struggle with the problem, but it is not something typically discussed in polite conversation – they simply suffer in silence. Some are even hesitant to talk to their doctors about it and try to self-medicate with OTC drugs – some that help and some that can make the problem worse.

The root of most constipation problems is diet – especially today where many diets are primarily sugar-filled, nutrient-empty calories and a lack of fiber.

Constipation can be easily resolved by eating plenty of fruit and vegetables, plus 100% whole grains to ensure that you are getting an adequate amount of fiber in your diet.

Unfortunately, the majority of people eat less than one-half the recommended daily allowance of fruits and vegetables. I have no idea who started the idea that you should not eat much fruit, but that popular trend is alive and well. My recommendation is to forget about such nonsense and enjoy nature’s bounteous harvest.

Everyone has heard, “An apple a day, keeps the doctor away.” There is actually some truth in that. Apples are not only good for you, they are delicious and filled with nutrients and fiber. There are so many varieties you should be able to find one (or two) that suit your particular taste buds.  My favorites are Gala and Fuji.

I realize that fruit can be a little pricey, but even if you cannot afford a wide variety of fruits,  an orange a day, an apple a day, plus – a ripe banana and a slice of 100 percent whole grain toast each day, will improve your digestion exponentially. That practice, along with drinking plenty of filtered water, should end any problems you are having with constipation. If you have been eating badly for a long time, it may take a few weeks for your body to catch up, especially if you have been adding laxatives to the mix.

Basic Steps to Cure Constipation (And Feel Better Overall)

  • Add nutrient-filled, fiber foods to your diet
  • Drink lots of water (6 to 8 glasses each day)
  • Avoid all processed food
  • Move your body in some form of exercise at least 15 to 20 minutes each day
  • Take time to relax and go

Two habits that can help relieve the problem:

  1. Take a relaxing walk each day.
  2. Try to move your bowels at approximately the same time each day. Believe it or not, you can train your bowels to move at a convenient time of day. Don’t avoid the urge to move your bowels. Putting off bowel movement is one of the primary causes of constipation. Once you establish the habit of going when you need to go and slowly become more regular, you will be able to try going in the morning before work, or at night after dinner.

Good luck and good health!