Tips for Preventing Constipation

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It happens to almost everybody sooner or later. However, when it happens, it can cause a little discomfort or make you downright miserable. It can be embarrassing or frustrating...or both.

Let's face it, constipation is no fun!

Boy, I must be smart to have figured that one out, huh?

Well, I don't know about you, but I like to feel good and enjoy life, and constipation is not something that contributes to those two issues. In fact, quite the contrary!

If you feel the same way, I have some good news for you; I am going to give you some tips for preventing constipation. However, as with many tips on many subjects, simply having the data in your head is not going to be enough. You are going to have to take action and implement the tips to help prevent constipation. The bad news, at least for me, your loyal and faithful adviser, is that if my tips work perfectly, you and I will never know it, because we don't know whether or not you WOULD have had a bout of constipation if you ignore my hints.

I'm going to proceed on the theory of "better safe than sorry". "Err on the side of caution." "Discretion is the better part of valor." "A coward.........OKAY! WE GOT THE POINT! GET ON WITH IT!!!!!

Sorry, got carried away. I am a writer, you know. Artistic temperament and so on....

Before we get started, however, I do want to say one thing. It is best if you consider constipation a symptom rather than a condition. It is your body's way of telling you that something jest ain't right!!

For most of us, most of the time, constipation is a temporary problem. Even for many who find it a chronic condition, it could possibly be solved by the tips below. However, for some, it is the symptom of a serious medical condition and medical professionals need to be brought into the picture.

If you have the occasional bout of constipation, probably no big deal. However, if it is ongoing or occurs in conjunction with other symptoms, or if you have any doubt at all....go see a doctor, pronto!

That having been said, let's look at possible contributors to constipation. Perhaps if we know possible causes, we can avoid them or circumvent them. For example, as we age, we, particularly the over-65 gang (me, next year), are going to become more likely to experience constipation. However, this is not so much a "fact" of our getting older as it is a "factor" of lifestyle changes which commonly affect seniors.

Now, constipation is a condition where you have two or less bowel movements a week, or if you have some or all of these problems; straining to "go", a feeling that you have not completely emptied the colon, stools that are hard or look like pellets, difficulty passing stools without using manual means (inserting a finger in the rectum, for example), or just an overall feeling of being blocked (usually with one or more of the others).

Probably, the most common cause of constipation is simply lack of fiber in the diet. A contributing factor to the condition and the discomfort is lack of proper hydration, i.e. not drinking enough water. Water helps soften stools and makes for easier bowel movements. Unsettling situations such as changes in daily routine due to travel or other causes can contribute as can immobility or lack of exercise. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), overusing laxatives, certain medicines, and pregnancy can also be the culprit.

Since the parts of our bodies tend to often work together as a "system" and not as isolated components, we can sometimes circumvent a cause by one factor by working on other factors. For example, a pregnant woman experiencing constipation may decide to exercise a little more, add more fiber to her diet, or both. Seniors tend to move around less and often do not watch their diets that carefully. They might try the same two methods of preventing constipation as well.

In fact, if you read the available information on this subject carefully, you will find that exercise, which tends to help move things along, and fiber in the diet are probably the two main steps you can take to achieve constipation relief. You could, of course, try stool softeners, and you definitely should make sure that you are getting the traditional eight glasses of water a day, although that is just a starting point and the actual amount needed can vary from person to person and from one personal situation to another.

Honestly, however, if your constipation is caused by events or medications, there might not be a lot you can do about that. Exercise is always good for relieving stress and for helping the body perform all its functions properly, not just the elimination of waste. Research is showing that a diet rich in fiber not only helps in preventing constipation and helps cleanse the colon of toxins, but is a factor in helping to prevent many other conditions, including certain forms of cancer.

So, when it comes to being healthy in general, and preventing constipation in particular; take a walk, eat an apple, and drink a glass of water...every day!

Seriously, we are what we are and experience what we experience as a result of our lifestyle. Lifestyle is about choices. Choose the lifestyle which not only will make you a healthier happier person but which will aid in preventing constipation or providing constipation relief...for life.
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