How To Get Rid Of
Embarrassing as it is to talk about, the physical discomfort from constipation can far out-weigh the social discomfort. It’s a problem whose impact is easily under-appreciated, the stuff of toilet humour and innuendo rather than sympathetic discussion.
But sometimes wisdom comes from infants. The most unhappy I’ve ever seen my two-year-old niece was when she suffering from constipation, and unlike an adult she was willing to show it, not just through the things she said but through the ever-present grimace on her face. And the happiest I’ve seen her was when she waved a cup of juice in my face, jabbering on about how it had helped her to poo. So, taking a lesson from her, lets talk constipation, and how to get rid of it.
Start with some healthy eating
The main treatments for constipation, and the things our bodies are crying out for at such times, are water and fibre. Drink plenty of liquids, and try to eat foods that are rich in dietary fibre. Wholegrain bread and pasta, along with brown rice, are the best way to get lots of fibre into a meal. Fruit and vegetables also help, especially if they haven’t been heavily processed. Eat the skin of your apple, bake your potato whole rather than peeling it, and the extra roughage will help. And then there’s the old classic of prune juice, giving your body lots of liquid along with the fruit.
Fibre gives your digestive system something to grip onto as it moves food through your body, and the water will help things keep moving. So a bit more thought about what you eat might allow your body to clear itself out.
If you’re too uncomfortable to eat much, or the amount of fibre you’re getting just isn’t helping, then you might want to consider a fibre supplement. This may be particularly helpful if you suffer from regular constipation and changes in your diet just haven’t done the trick.
Hit the gym
It might be the last thing you feel like doing, but exercise can help to get your body working. If you can, go for a run or a workout. If that’s too much, at least get out for a walk.
If water, fibre and exercise haven’t helped, then what next?
Milk of magnesia is a safe, low cost laxative that may get your bowels moving. It is often recommended as the place to start, putting your body and wallet through the least strenuous treatment first. You may want to rush to extreme measures to end your discomfort, but it’s best to proceed cautiously where your health is concerned. Try using milk of magnesia and see if that helps.
Failing that there are stimulants. Anyone who drinks a lot of coffee will know how it can affect the bowels, and that’s just the stimulant we consume casually on an everyday basis. You may be thinking great, I’ll just reach for the espresso machine and clear myself out with a few tasty cups. But it’s possible to get carried away with that one, as you need to stay hydrated, and excess caffeine can get in the way of concentration. But medicines that use the same principle, based on stimulants and other chemicals, are widely available. If you’re not sure which one to use then talk with the pharmacist – they’re a trained professional and in expert in the medicines they sell.
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