If you’re suffering from constipation or are worried about your colon health, you need to know bowel habits vary from person to person. Some people have bowel movements several times a day, and some people go without one for several days. Doctors claim what is more important than whether you’re having a bowel movement every day or not is the hardness of the stool. Bowel movements and stool hardness are affected by:
- Consumption of liquids: Not enough can cause hard stools and discourage bowel movements.
- Consumption of milk products: Too much can sometimes cause diarrhea or constipation.
- Fiber in the diet: Lack of fiber causes constipation and hard stools, and when you have proper amounts of fiber it softens the stool and helps speed it through the colon.
- Laxatives: Using laxatives too often discourages the body from operating normally and makes it rely on outside sources to accomplish its task.
- Medications: Many medications encourage constipation such as antacids, pain killers, or anti-depressants.
- Physical activity: Lack of physical activity is linked to constipation.
- Post phoning bowel movements: You should not ignore defecation signs. When your body indicates it’s time, rather than wait until you finish something, you should answer nature’s call, so you can keep your body in proper working order.
- Sugar: Sugar causes constipation, so you should limit the amount you consume.
One way to be regular and have soft stools is to eat plenty of fiber (Read Fiber is More Than a Hill of Beans if you’re unsure what foods have high fiber), drink plenty of water, and exercise regularly. You should also not rely on remedies to maintain regular bowel movements. Laxatives, enemas, or colonics can sometimes cause more problems than they remedy because you end up becoming dependent on them and that discourages the body from operating on its own. In addition, colonics can have adverse effect if administered improperly.
If you want to maintain good colon health and be regular, there are less invasive ways than laxatives, enemas, or colonics to achieve it. Try the following ideas, in the order listed, and see what results.
- Drink Water in the Morning. If you have a bowel movement everyday and are constipated drink 16 ounces of water when you wake up. If you are constipated but have bowel movements every few days, drink 16 ounces of warm water laced with 2 teaspoons of natural honey after you wake up. Drinking water in the morning helps soften stools and triggers peristalic action in the intestines, which encourages things to start moving. If nothing happens on the second day, move to Step 2.
- Try Fiber Products. Fiber products include Metamucil or Benefiber. They work because they contain natural bulk fiber and that encourages elimination. You mix the fiber with a beverage according to package directions and drink it. Try a fiber product for a couple of days and if that doesn’t work move to Step 3.
- Fiber Mega Dose. This is a fiber mega dose. In a blender combine 1 1/2 cups chopped papaya, 2 cups cranberries, 1 1/2 Tablespoons Metamucil or Benefiber, and 1 1/2 Tablespoons flaxseed. Don’t eat anything an hour before drinking this and drink it in the morning and at night until you resume your normal bowel routine. Then drink it just twice a week to stay regular.
- See the Doctor. After seven days, if you haven’t had a bowel movement, or if you continue to suffer from constipation for more than a few weeks, you should see the doctor as it could indicate a more serious problem.
Bowel health is important to overall total health. Make sure you don’t suffer from chronic constipation because it can lead to even more health problems. Follow the above tips, and make sure you’re eating right, getting appropriate exercise, and answering nature’s call. If, however, you continue to suffer constipation, visit your doctor for a more thorough explanation of what is causing the problem.