Lifestyle & Constipation

  • Constipation has been rightly called the disease of ‘civilization’. Not only civilization has brought with it ‘good-for- palate but not-so-good-for-bowel’ sort of foods and drinks, but also hoards of stresses.
  • Sedentary lifestyle with no exercise, socializing late night alcohol parties with high fat, low fiber diet and cut-throat competition has taken its toll on human race.
  • In a hurry to live up with the deadlines, the ‘natural calls’ of nature are forgotten. The stress has not even spared the children who are expected to excel in all the fields, academic and sports alike.

The following useful tips can keep constipation at bay :

  • Try to learn the methods of relieving the stress (e.g. yoga, meditation) and practice them regularly.
  • Drink one or two glasses of water in the morning. It stimulates the bowel into action.
  • Avoid too many late night parties and especially liquor. Be choosy in selecting high fiber diet for yourself.
  • Relax while passing the motion. Read or listen to a radio and keep yourself distracted from the concerns of past or future. Some doctors feel that firm footing with aid of a foot stool/ squatting position facilitates small children in passing their motion.
  • Spend plenty of time in toilet, preferable at the same period every day. This is particularly important for a toddler who is being toilet trained.
  • Do include at least 10-15 minutes of exercise in your daily routine. It might mean a simple walk. The abdominal muscles contracting in the course of day to day activity, massage the bowel and help eliminate its contents.
  • It is very important to impress upon the children benefits of outdoor sports activities. They should be discouraged from too much involvement in indoor games, watching TV or playing games on computer.
  • Some maneuvers can be helpful if a person occasionally lacks time for routine exercise or those who cannot undertake exercises (bedridden patients). This abdominal massage can be undertaken by lying down flat on your back and slowly pressing your right and left hands alternately against your stomach in a kneading like fashion from right to left. Continue this massage for at least five minutes.
  • Never ignore the urge to have bowel movement. This concept should be specially ingrained in the mind of young children who try to ignore this urge as they remain busy in games or other recreational activities.
  • To avoid summer constipation, it is advisable to include plenty of liquids and preferably also salt (to take care of its losses through sweat).
  • Avoid alcoholic beverages (like wine, beer) as they have a dehydrating effect.