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3 Steps to Avoid Constipation

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Constipation related image Photo: Getty Images

According to National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC), more than 4 million Americans have frequent constipation. I’ve had problems with it most of my life. I used to blame in on refusing to have a bowel movement at school, which can be a factor for chronic constipation. As I got older, though, I decided that what I really needed was the three following recommendations:

Fiber: a high fiber diet will definitely help those with constipation issues. We need to eat more fruits, vegetables, and grains, and fewer of foods higher in fat such as meats, certain dairy products, and those delicious baked goods. The American Dietetic Association recommends 20 to 35 grams of fiber daily. However, fiber alone will not help constipation unless another important ingredient is added to your diet.

Water: an article by the Mayo Clinic staff entitled: Water: How much should you drink every day? stated, “In general, doctors recommend 8 or 9 cups.” Surprisingly, even though most of us have water at our fingertips every day, we don’t drink the recommended amount. If you are currently not a big water drinker and are often constipated, it is essential to drink enough to water in order to make bowel movements easier to pass through the intestines and colon. If you don’t care for water alone, you can add lemon or another favorite fruit or fruit juice to make it more appealing to your pallet.

However, caffeine drinks such as coffee or soda as well as alcoholic beverages can cause dehydration and worsen your symptoms of constipation. To offset the effects of dehydration while consuming caffeine and alcohol, drink 2 glasses of water between every cup of coffee or cocktail.

Exercise: the more I write about health issues, the more I notice that exercise helps a multitude of problems including constipation. However, it’s the toughest recommendation of all. Webmd.com claims that exercise such as walking for 15 minutes after a meal can help constipation, but I won’t go into the details on how it helps. I’ll let you read about it at: http://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/exercise-curing-constipation-via-movement.

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EmpowHER Guest

Probiotics are another really important element. You can get great quality ones for a decent cost. Try EnzymeEssentials. They have a really simple, gentle probiotic that I have found to be great for my regularity.

July 11, 2011 - 8:34am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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