When you can't 'go'


    Posts : 11
    Join date : 2009-07-01

    When you can't 'go'

    Post by Envy on Thu 02 Jul 2009, 10:13 am

    When you can't 'go'

    Let's talk about something that nobody really wants to talk about, especially women.

    CONSTIPATION is not something you bring up over a cup of tea or
    while shopping with friends. Yet, without a doubt, it is a condition
    that everyone has experienced.

    When is constipation normal, and when is it considered serious? What
    can you do to prevent this uncomfortable condition? I hope this article
    will answer some of the questions you may be too embarrassed to ask
    your doctor or friends.

    What happens in the gut

    After you eat, food passes through your digestive system and is
    broken down into nutrients, which are absorbed by the body. When it
    passes through the large intestine, water is absorbed from it and it
    becomes solid waste.

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    Through a process called peristalsis, where the muscles of the
    intestines contract in an ordered sequence, the waste is squeezed
    through the rectum and anus as a bowel movement.

    When you can't "go"

    Constipation occurs when the stool passes through the large
    intestine too slowly. When this happens, the intestine removes too much
    water, making the stool hard and dry. As a result, not only do you go
    to the toilet less often, it also becomes difficult to pass a bowel

    The actual frequency of bowel motions will differ for everyone. If
    you usually pass motion three times a week, it doesn't mean you are
    constipated compared to someone who passes motion twice a day, unless
    you start passing motion fewer than three times a week.

    Other giveaway signs are pain while passing motion, having to
    strain, a feeling of incomplete bowel emptying, and dry, hard stools
    (resembling rabbit pellets). Straining may not be effective and may
    even cause piles and rectal bleeding.

    Often, people with constipation feel full very quickly when eating,
    bloated, lethargic, and may even experience nausea and vomiting. If
    constipation is associated with severe abdominal pain, vomiting, or
    passing blood and mucus in bowel motions, then it requires immediate
    medical attention.

    Why constipation occurs

    Your bowel habits are affected by the foods you eat, how much you exercise, and other lifestyle factors.

    Diet is a major lifestyle factor that can cause constipation. Fibre
    from fruits, vegetables, and grains helps to form soft, bulky stools
    that are easily passed. Not having enough fibre in your diet could
    cause constipation. Not drinking enough liquids can also lead to

    Changing your normal exercise or travel habits, or experiencing a
    lot of stress, can also disrupt the regularity of your bowel movements.
    Some people are so busy that they sometimes ignore the urge to have a
    bowel movement.

    This means the stool stays inside the large intestine longer than it should, causing more absorption of water.

    Calcium and iron supplements, as well as painkillers with codeine,
    diuretics, anti-depressants, and some antacids can also contribute to

    Some medical conditions can also cause constipation. These include
    pregnancy or having given birth; problems with the muscles and nerves
    in the intestine, rectum or anus; irritable bowel syndrome; diabetes;
    and hypothyroidism.

    Constipation may be inevitable in some of these cases, but treating the underlying condition may help to alleviate it.

    Prevention and relief

    Your diet is the easiest thing to change. Ensure you have more fibre
    in your diet. Take more fruits, vegetables, legumes (such as peas and
    beans), and grains (wholegrain cereals and breads). Be sure to have a
    variety of these foods, as they contain fibre in varying amounts.

    Add these to your diet a little at a time, so that your body gets
    used to it. If you take too much fibre in one go, you may get gassy and
    bloated. Cut down on foods that have little, or no fibre eg
    high-calories foods and processed foods. Drink plenty of water and
    other liquids, such as clear soups and juices. Coffee and alcohol do
    not help because they make you excrete more water.

    You can also get fibre pills or powders from the pharmacy, but be
    sure not to take too many because that can lead to other problems.

    Regular exercise helps your digestive system stay active and healthy, and provides so many other benefits to your body and mind.

    One of the causes of constipation I mentioned earlier is ignoring
    the urge to have a bowel movement. So make sure you pay attention to
    this urge and give yourself time to go to the restroom.

    If you know that you have your bowel movement at a certain time of
    the day, visit the restroom at that time. Allow yourself to relax, and
    don't think about having to rush out of the house or back to work.

    Ask your doctor about the medicines or supplements that you are
    taking. Do not stop your prescribed medications without your doctor's

    Finally, you may want to resort to laxatives, upon your doctor's
    advice. Mild constipation does not require laxatives. These should only
    be prescribed if you have tried everything else, but are still

    Generally, a healthy lifestyle with a proper diet, regular exercise,
    and manageable levels of stress should help you maintain regular bowel
    movements. Don't be shy about bringing it up with your doctor if this
    troubles you - it is the most natural thing in life, and can have a
    serious effect on your body and your daily habits. -The Star/ANN

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