Bloating and constipation goes hand in hand and you cannot address bloating if you don’t treat your constipation problem first. Blocked fecal matter difficult the expulsion of gases producing the discomfort and pain of bloating.
With the information given here there are two articles; how to reduce bloating and prevent it and bloated stomach remedies with natural herbs that will help to address these problems and treat the bloating and constipation together instead of treating the symptoms as if they were not related like drugs do.
Introduction to bloating and constipation
Constipation is a very common ailment that affects more than 50% of men and almost 80% of women. The most obvious and quick solution for bloating and constipation seems to be the use of laxatives but they are dangerous. You can end up being dependent of them with common use.
Using simethicone for the bloating will help you momentarily but it won’t stop the cause of that excess gas and will lose its effectiveness eventually.
With a healthy dose of fiber in your diet and the practical advice given in this article you won’t need to use laxatives at all. In this article we will focus our attention in understanding and treating the constipation.
- Reduction of the frequency a person defecates.
- Is not necessary to defecate daily to have a healthy digestive system. Each person has her personal frequency.
- Between three times per day and twelve times per week is considered healthy.
- Difficulty in the proper movement of the feces.
When the frequency lowers to less than twelve per week and the feces are very hard and dry then you can consider there is constipation.
Short term, constipation doesn’t cause severe health problems but when it chronifies, lasting months or even years, it can contribute to cancer, diverticulitis and degenerative diseases of the intestine and the whole body.
Lifestyle and constipation
Most often our lifestyle can be what triggers bloating and constipation. In the past it was more common to eat plenty of legumes or defecating in a squatting position which helps bowel movement.
Today general culture consider legumes as a source of calories, we have modified our WCs and the natural position we formerly had. Fortunately there are doctors that are encouraging to include more legumes in our diets again, even weight loss diets.
A sedentary life and eating too few fruits and vegetables can trigger a constipation process but there are other less common causes like:
- A prolonged use of laxatives.
- Depression symptoms.
- Neurological or endocrine problems.
- An intestinal blockage due to the thinning of one of its sections.
- A pushing or displacement produced by a tumor, inflamed organ or tissue mass.
- An irritation or inflammation of the intestine like in IBS, ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease.
- Ingesting some drugs like analgesics, narcotics, anti-convulsive, anti-depressants, anti-cholinergics and anti-acids that contain a calcium-aluminum compound.
Solutions for Constipation
As said before to address both bloating and constipation is important to solve the latter first. For those cases of constipation not caused by diseases like diverticulitis or tumors the solution is simple:
- Include a healthy fiber intake in the diet.
- That means more fruits like plumbs, kiwis and Armenian plums also called ansu apricots.
- Also more pulses and whole cereals.
- If it is difficult to increase fiber intake with these foods try psyllium but only for a short time. Remember, the objective is to change your diet for one more nutritious and healthy.
- Although there is no consensus on an official amount, some research in the U.S. point an optimal amount between 13 and 17 g. (0.5 oz)
- There are many doctors that recommend a higher dose up to 25 g. (0.8 oz)
- Be prepared for the side effects of more fiber like increased gas and bloating.
- Although the objective is to treat bloating too, increased gas production won’t last long. It’ll disappear once our metabolism has adapted to the new diet.
- Be careful not to go way over 25 g. (0.8 oz) per day. An excessive amount of fiber can cause a micronutrient deficit which is harmful to health.
- Increase physical activity, one hour of vigorous walking per day is enough to feel a considerable improvement.
- Eat slowly and purposefully, relaxing and thoroughly chewing and salivating food.
- Drink plenty of water, ten glasses of water or natural fresh juices is enough.
- Accustom your gut to go to the bathroom at determined hours of the day.
- You can improve you position when defecating using a stool and using a squat posture.
- You can do squats not only in the WC but as a daily exercise, there’s no better exercise to relieve constipation.
- If your constipation is so severe that it doesn’t disappear after changing your daily habits visit your gastroenterologist.
We do not recommend the consumption of laxatives or self-medication. Even though there is a wide selection of laxatives in pharmacies and herbal stores its use can cause more problems and eventually worsen a case of constipation.
Synthetic or natural, laxatives generate dependency and addiction. It makes your gut lazier and in need of a reeducation when you want to stop using them. Sometimes they contain irritant substances that, after a prolonged use, can be carcinogenic.
So remember to prevent and solve constipation, start a healthier diet, take more water, walk at least an hour daily, do some mild squats, etc. That will help not only digestive health but other benefits improving life quality.