Are your bowel movements hard and difficult to move? Naturally your digestive system is designed to take what your body needs and discard the rest. This process is ongoing and the nature of what you take in can really clog your system.
Constipation refers to infrequent or hard stools, or difficulty passing stools. Constipation may involve pain during the passage of a bowel movement, inability to pass a bowel movement after straining or pushing for more than 10 minutes, or no bowel movements after more than 3 days.
Constipation is most often caused by a low-fiber diet, lack of physical activity, not drinking enough water, or delay in going to the bathroom when you have the urge to defecate. Stress and travel can also contribute to constipation or other changes in bowel habits.
Lifestyle adjustments for naturally avoiding constipation is best. The following 4 healthy adjustments are of equal importance for getting your bowel moving:
- eat lots of fiber
- exercise regularly
- drink plenty of fluids
- go to the bathroom when you have the urge
All fiber is not created equally and all bodies do not manage fiber the same. Eat a variety of high fiber foods to discover which one or in combination works best for you. Once you have discovered that which makes you move consider this fiber source one of your staples ~ meaning eat it on a regular basis.
In times when nature needs a hand, stool softeners, such as those containing docusate sodium, may help. Additionally, bulk laxatives such as psyllium may help add fluid and bulk to the stool. Suppositories or gentle laxatives, such as milk of magnesia liquid, may establish regular bowel movements.