Monday, November 12, 2007

8 Steps For Avoiding Constipation


Many people suffer from constipation and, in fact, it is so common that you might think it is normal and cannot be avoided. But this couldn't be further from the truth, constipation is not a normal state it is a direct result of you lifestyle you lead which includes the food you eat and those which your diet lacks. Luckily, you can avoid constipation and here are nine things you can do to ensure that your digestive system always runs like clockwork.

1. Get enough fiber. I'm sure you've heard this one before, but are you really getting enough? The average adult should get 25 to 35 g of fiber a day and if you aren't eating a lot of fruits, vegetables and whole wheat products then chances are you are getting way less than that. Fiber helps add roughage to your bowel movements and aids your bowels in working correctly so it is vital if you want to have regular movements and avoid constipation.

2. Get enough fluids. If you don't drink enough fluids, your stools will become hard and this will make it more difficult to have a ball movement. You should drink at least eight 8 oz glasses of water a day and avoid caffeinated beverages as these do nothing to add water to your intestines where it is needed most.

3. Dieting? If you are on a diet that has you eating foods you are not used to or foods that don't have a lot of fiber such as some of the low-carb diets that put a big emphasis on protein than the changing your eating habits as well as the lack of fiber can be causing constipation. Make sure you get plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits every day.

4. Medications. Many medications cause constipation so if you're on any medicine it's a good idea to check it to see if it is constipation causing. If it is, you'll want to counteract it by adding even more fiber into your diet and making sure you get enough water to correct.

5. Pregnancy. Pregnant women often suffer from constipation due to the many changes going on in their body. The best way to combat this, and also the healthiest way, is to get a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet as well as drink a lot of water.

6. Decrease your coffee consumption. Caffeinated coffee can cause you to become constipated because the caffeine acts as a diuretic and causes water to be lost in your urine instead of placing the water in your colon where it can help solve your stools.

7. Distress. If you're stressed out than chances are this can be adding to your bowel problems. Try practicing stress relief by taking a hot bath, doing yoga or just relaxing in front of the fire.

8. Exercise. Exercising is a great way to get everything moving and help relieve constipation. Walking is especially good as the gentle rocking motion can help stimulate your bowels into action. Try taking a half-hour walk every day it is many health benefits not the least of which is helping you to avoid constipation.

Constipation doesn't have to be a way of life. If you live a healthier lifestyle with lots of fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains and avoid package and processed foods as well as include some moderate exercise and you'll find that you become more regular as well as healthier.
Lee Dobbins writes for Colon Articles where you can learn about good colon health and get more tips on avoiding constipation.

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