Constipation. How to Deal with It and Prevent Problems forever.
Our esophagus, stomach and intestines are our internal plumbing and if we take care of them they will treat us well for many years. Like a broken pipe though we can have problems and we don't want to ignore them or take too long to fix any internal plumbing. The sooner and the more aware you are of your body the more it will thank you with well functioning digestion.
Sources of Fiber
How Our Internal Plumbing Works
We don't think of our bodies like pipes and usual plumbing but in a sense they are. In working as as a new RN I cared for the very elderly that could not keep up with fiber needs and fluid needs, two of the most important things to keep your bowels moving properly. Often medication will cause a backup. You can get into all kinds of problems, impactions ( hard, difficult to pass stools, chronic constipation, abdominal distentions, cramping, etc.
There are many things we can do to keep our body's plumbing functioning. Exercise is important as is drinking plenty of water and slowly increasing the fiber in your diet. Sometimes you might have to start your exercise program slowing with morning stretches and work up to more intense exercise. It can be fun too. Getting a puppy to walk is a great way to get you outside and moving.
Then comes the diet. Add fiber slowiy or you may experience a lot of cramping and gas pain. Sometimes it might even be necessary to add some benefiber or fibercon, over the counter aides for constipation. Always start slowly and add water with the product. The drug companies have come out with some good products for clogged drains (if you will). One is Lactulose. It increases the fluid in the stool and must be used by tolerance.Too much can cause diarrhea. A pill for is Amitiza. It is a prescription and works by pulling water into the stool to soften.Treatment is usually twice a day as needed. Again it is important to start slow and see how your body reacts. If not you may find yourself running for the bathroom all day or even soiling. Recommended over the counter products are stool softeners and various laxatives which should be used with caution to prevent dependence.
Some teenagers and even adults have gotten into the overuse of laxative to lose weight. This can cause your body to become overly dependent on the drugs and your intestines no longer will function on there own. It is a slow process but weaning off the overuse of laxatives can be done with the help of physicians or on your own if you are very motivated.
Constipation can cause hemmorhoids that can lead to surgery if not treated correctly. Our bodies are fined tuned machines needing all the right nutrients to work correctly.To sum it up we need
- Plenty of exercise
- Drink water regularly especially when you feel thirsty
- Don't fight the urge to have a bowel movement. Your body is talking to you!!!!
- Eat plenty of fiber including fruits and vegetables such as apples, oranges, plums, broccoli, green leafy vegetables. The greener the better!!!
- Dried fruit is a natural laxative. They can keep you regular especiallly raisins and prunes. A glass of prune juice can go a long way,
- Give yourself time in the morning to get on a good bowel schedule. You can train you internal plumbing to work like clockwork!!!!!
- Coffee can help you to have a bowel movement but it is also a diuretic and can pull water away from you intestines. Be careful not to drink too much.
- Watch your body for signs of intestinal problems either over-active bowels, a possible sign of lactose intolerance or wheat and sugar or even fat intolerance, and constipation.
- It is healthier to have regular soft stools rather than hard difficult to pass stools.
- Have a baseline colonoscopy at age 50 or sooner if intestinal conditions run in your family. It is not a difficult procedure as you usually sleep through all or most of it.
- Encourage your children at a young age to start enjoying fruits,vegetables and whole wheat products. You can save them a lifetime of intestinal problems.
- Magnesium is very important to your health . It also helps to maintain regularity. Taken at night you can alleviate common constipation.
- Enjoy life. Stress also adds to bowel problems. Take one day at a time and don't borrow trouble. As Jesus said in the bible " tomorrow will take care of itself". Yes you are going to face a lot of problems but in 10 years most of the things you are worried about will be either forgotten or a distant memory.