5 tips to ease constipation
When was the last time you had a conversation about how often you poo? It’s not a subject that tends to crop up too often, unless you have a real problem and even then it’s a whispered conversation with our closest friends. Let’s face it we have to go to the loo. It’s natures way of getting rid of waste and unwanted toxins from our bodies. If you don’t poo properly you can become quite unwell.
Good question. What’s normal for one person isn’t necessarily normal for another. Some people go 2-3 times a day, others go once a day or once every couple of days. As long as it’s always been normal for you, your stools are soft and easy to pass you don’t need to worry. The following can be caused by being constipated:
- Poor concentration
- Excessive straining
- Back ache
- Painful defaecation
- Water retention
- Incomplete emptying
- Passing small hard stools
What can you do?
1. Drink more
If we are dehydrated stools had become hard and difficult to pass. Try to drink around 8 glasses/cups a day. Water is best, herbal teas are great, but don’t forget we also get fluid from the foods we eat and even tea and coffee in moderation can be counted.
2. Eat more fibre
Eat at least 5 portions of vegetables and fruit a day to bulk out your stools and make them easier to pass. This also helps to feed your beneficial gut bacteria, which also helps you got to the loo!
3. Reduce stress
When we’re stressed our digestive system slows down, which can reduce transit time and cause us to become constipated.
Regular exercise helps us manage stress (don’t overdo it though as it can increase our stress levels!) and improves our gut muscles, helping them work more efficiently, reducing the time taken for waste to pass through your system.
5. Keep to a routine
There’s nothing like a change in our routine to cause us to become constipated. Don’t ignore any urge to go the loo, even if you’re out of routine, otherwise your body will absorb more water from your stools making them harder to pass.