- Personal Health Information & Self-Help
How to Deal With Constipation - Tight Stools, Bloating Stomach and Gastric Problems
Why This Topic on Constipation and Bloating Stomach?
Recently, I began experiencing some constipation and gas related problems such as trouble in getting a complete bowel movement (or excrement of feces) and a feeling of swelling of my stomach known as bloating of the stomach. I feel that passage of gas from my body is getting obstructed. Medications from my Doctors who treat me for the heart, cholesterol, and other minor problems, offer temporary relief for the time being but not solve the gas problems permanently.
So, I have been doing some general research on the internet on irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) problems and symptoms so as to manage myself in controlling the problems on a regular basis. And, while I am collecting these useful tips and applying them, I thought of sharing this useful information with others also having similar problems. The result is this hub.
I have included an expert's opinion also who clearly emphasized the main points be taken care of while going through these symptoms collectively known as Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
What is Constipation? The Real Problems Experienced
Constipation is the problem of experiencing hindrance or taking too much time in emptying the bowels or discharging the human waste from large intestines. It is characterized by tight stools or hard and dry bowels. The degree of tightness or hardness may vary according to the seriousness of the problem. Too hard and dry stools may be accompanied by the release of blood also as it may get excessive friction within the colon at the releasing point of the anus. But it happens in very serious cases only and requires surgery and prolonged treatments. Normal constipation is, in general, an experience of taking more time in the excretion of feces with a feeling of tightness and uneasiness in intestines which can be regularised with diet and normal exercises.
Large Intestine, the Actual Place of Constipation
Causes of Constipation
Constipation can be the result of one or many of these circumstances.
- Irregular or frequent eating.
- Shortage of water for the digestion process.
- Consumption of excessive starch foods, carbohydrates, and fats.
- Inactivity or lack of exercise in the body.
- Overstay of food in the colon due to some temporary physical obstructions or lack of coordination between brain and body muscles.
- Postponing or holding of your stools for long which may lead to accumulation of waste in your body.
- Stress and strain also lead to constipation as the coordination between brain and nervous system get affected.
- Kidney failure is another major cause.
- Some diseases and medications also contribute to constipation.
- Old age can also be a cause of constipation as your digestion process weakens due to aging factor and weakness of the whole system.
Tight Stools, Hard-Dry Stools Blocking the Colon
As mentioned above, tight stools or hard and dry stools are the results of constipation. Shortage of water due to less drinking of water and overeating can cause drying up of the half-digested food that gets transferred to colon from cecum. The colon further tries to absorb the remaining liquids and wetness from the food before it is sent to the rectum.
In addition to above reasons, the fatty or sticky substances stick to the walls of colon making the passage narrower.
The waste that enters the rectum becomes dry and hard because of above-cited reasons and, thereby, you may experience many problems in your bowel movement or excretion.
Too much of hardness can result in a stone formation leading to piles in anal canal which require surgery to remove stones and clumps.
Bloating Stomach Symptoms and Reasons
Bloating stomach refers to the swelling of the stomach due to the accumulation of air or gas and undigested food in your stomach. The accumulated waste food and gas or air make the stomach swell into a balloon. You will be feeling tightness and heaviness accompanied by swirling of gas in your body. You may experience abdominal pain also. Sometimes, the gas can enter into your upper portion of the body making you feel much uncomfortable.
Reasons for bloating of the stomach may be as follows:
- Swallowing of excessive air.
- Digestion problems.
- Consumption of carbonated food and beverages.
- Eating foods like pulses, beans, broccoli and dairy products which cannot be digested by some people.
- Stress and strain.
- Wearing tight clothes.
- Hindrance in the passage of gas from your body.
Bloating of the Stomach
Gastric Problems Symptoms
Most of us know that certain foods and vegetables cause gas problems. There many symptoms associated with gastric problems. Some of the main symptoms, which I also experience are as follows:
- Acidity and heartburn.
- Burping and belching.
- Frequent release of gas.
- Abdominal pain and chest pain.
- A feeling of nausea and vomiting experience.
Causes for Gastric Problems
General causes of gas in the stomach are due to dietary irregularities, indigestion, and inactivity. But many other factors contribute to gastric troubles. Some prominent causes are listed below.
- Excessive eating.
- Allergy to protein-rich foods and fat and starch.
- Fructose and Lactose intolerance. This is an allergy to certain fruits and dairy products.
- Eating too quickly or drinking while talking with people.
- Tension and stress.
- Lack of certain hormones or changes in hormones may also cause constipation and gastric problems.
Exercise for Stomach
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
The Irritable Bowel Syndrome (shortly known as IBS) can be identified as a collective name for all these problems of constipation, bloating of stomach and gastric problems. But, it requires a long-term treatment whereas temporary incidents of constipation, gas, etc. may be cured within a couple of days by managing dietary habits, lifestyles, and stress factors.
Constipation Remedies and Treatment
Constipation and tight stools can be treated at home up to some extent. If the need arises, you should consult a doctor and take medications and advice. The below mentioned are some of the constipation remedies that I follow.
- Eating fiber-rich food with vegetables and fruits having sufficient fiber content.
- But, avoid too much or heavy fiber which cannot be digested and remains undigested in the intestines.
- Drink sufficient water. Normally recommended by doctors is 8 glasses per day including drinks.
- Eat slowly chewing the food so that it easily gets digested.
- Take a walk of 1 or 2 km gradually increasing from lesser distances.
- Practice light exercises also daily at least for 5 or 10 minutes.
- If you experience difficulty in feces excretion, better use a toilet that facilitates releasing by sitting on your feet instead of the modern toilets.
- You can use some laxatives also with doctor's advice like Lactose, Milk of Magnesia, etc. I prefer my own home remedy of "rasam" a liquid recipe prepared using tamarind, coriander powder, black pepper powder and cumin powder and some spice leaves all boiled in water. The purpose is to dilute or soften the hard stools so that they get excreted.
What about you?
Do you or did you suffer from Constipation & bloating stomach and how you tackled it?
How to Get Rid of Stomach Bloating
Constipation and gastric problems lead to stomach bloating. So, we should avoid constipation and gas formation in the stomach and intestines. This can be done by following these guidelines.
- Avoid fatty foods.
- Avoid heavy and protein rich foods which are not easily digested like beans, cabbages, broccoli, onions, and gas producing carbonated drinks.
- Eating small doses of food with frequent intervals also aids in avoiding gas formation instead of eating much in one sitting.
- Fiber intake helps in preventing constipation and gas formation.
- Don't wear tight clothes and tight-fastened belts.
- Drink lots of water.
- Don't sleep immediately after eating food. Spend an hour or so in some activity.
Expert's Opinion on Irritable Bowel Syndrome Symptoms and Treatment
"To-Do" and "Not-To-Do" Lists for Constipation and Gastric Problems
Not to do
Eat liquid food. Do exercising and walking.
Avoid starch and fatty foods. Avoid inactivity and excess sitting.
Drink lots of water and try to sit on feet/ toes while in toilet
Avoid accumulation of food in stomach and inactivity.
Wear loose clothes, and do walking and exercising
Avoid carbonated drinks, coffee, etc.
Eat fiber-rich foods and fruits and drink lots of water
Avoid beans, broccoli, cabbage, other heavy foods and wearing tight clothes.
Important Points to Remember
Whether it is constipation, tight and hard, dry stools, bloating stomach or gastric problem- all are interrelated to one another. One symptom can lead to the other symptom and so on. The whole disease is known as Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
So, when you experience any or all of above symptoms, you should take care to control and prevent the problems at early stages. You can consult your physician and also follow your own precautionary steps.
- Control your eating habits by restricting fats and fried foods and most of those foods out of your digesting capacity. You can know what is good or bad from your own experience.
- Drink lots of water and fluids, but avoid carbonated drinks, alcohol, and coffee, etc.
- Practice exercises and walking within your capacities.
- Try to wear loose clothes as far as possible and avoid excessive sitting for long hours without movements. Keep active always.
- Change your lifestyles according to situations for good health.
- And last, but not least, keep in touch with your doctor.