MYTHS ON CONSTIPATION
Myths and facts
- Raw vegetables and fruits are difficult to digest while non-vegetarian food is more nutritious, healthy and easy to digest.
Fact: Vegetarian food is as good as non-vegetarian and specially good for a food bowel health as it is rich in fibres. High fibre content not only keeps the bowel healthy but also protects against high cholesterol and high blood sugar.
- Fruit juice is better than whole fruit
Fact: While processing fruit juice, a lot of its fibre contents is lost. It is better to give whole fruit to give the benefit of nutrition as well as provide bulk to intestinal contents.
- Peeling off the fruits with edible peeling makes a fruit more easily digestible
Fact: The useful fibre content of the fruit is lost. The fruits with edible peeling should preferably be eaten as such.
- If I do not pass a motion daily, I am constipated.
Fact: The bowel habits of different individuals vary widely and whether one suffers from constipation is decided by his usual bowel habits. If you pass stools every other day since childhood and feel absolutely fine, your stool is soft and without any excessive odour, you are probably not suffering from constipation.
- To get a healthy baby, pregnant women should take lot of soups, fruit juices and lot of rest
Fact: Besides the above stated points, the pregnant women should include high fibre diet including raw vegetables and whole fruits and should do light exercise, preferably walking, so as to avoid constipation and its disastrous sequels.
- Frequent use of laxative keeps the bowel of elderly individuals active
Fact: Frequent use of laxative is habit forming and can make the bowel inactive. Rather, the elderly should fight their tendency for constipation by staying active, taking a high fibre diet and plenty of liquids.
- Constipation with blood in the stools indicates cancer
Fact: Constipation with blood in the stool can occur also due to a number of conditions e.g. anal fissure, piles, prolapse rectum though cancer of colon or rectum is also one of the known causes. The diagnosis has to established by the treating surgeon and one should see a doctor immediately at the onset of this complaint.
- Western type of toilet seat is better
Fact: Squatting position aids in relieving the bowel and Indian type of toilet seats are better.
- Beer is a good drink for summer season and keeps one cool
Fact: Due to its content of alcohol, beer also has dehydrating effect and hence cannot be called an ideal drink for summers. It frequently can lead to constipation.