Constipated?

Constipation is certainly the number one complaint among Kenyans! Shockingly, according to research about 2 people among 5 complain about constipation especially in the urban areas! It is a subject that many are too embarrassed to admit and a condition that stems from lifestyle and methods of feeding. Lack of fiber intake, poor digestion and gastro intestinal dysfunction. In fact, women are said to be twice as likely to be constipated more than men.

So are you constipated? It is estimated that normal bowel movement should be between 12 and 24 hours after eating. So a person is constipated if a day passes without bowel movement. Constipation is related to a risk of colon cancer and therefore it is important to avoid it!

Constipation makes tour body fatigued, bloated, have headaches, have bad breath, have bad body odor, have dark circles around the eyes not to mention become insomniatic. If you are constipated, laxatives may not be the answer. In fact, regular use of them can be harmful to the colon. The first action point is to eliminate the cause of constipation.

Main causes are:

  • Diets high in milk, sugar, carbohydrates and grains
  • Insufficient fiber in the diet
  • Dehydration
  • Taking in of too many supplements and medications
  • Lack of stomach acid to allow digestion
  • Bacteria presence in the colon.
  • Pregnancy
  • Some diseases for example diabetes and cancer
  • Lack of exercise and excessive use of laxatives

What to do?

  • Always adjust your diet. Eliminate fatty and fried foods, sugar and artificial sweeteners. Avoid dairy products, too much wheat intake. Children who are lactose intolerant can also be faced by constipation
  • Drink a lot of water at least 8 glasses daily. This is important especially when travelling.
  • Take lots of fiber from green leafy vegetables and fruits that have fiber and ease bowel movement for example ripe bananas.
  • Include good fat from nuts, avocados and coconut oils
  • Use tea: ginger, green or any other to beat constipation
  • Avoid soda and other carbonated drinks
  • Daily exercise

Remember a healthy gut equals a healthy person!

I know you have questions post them here!

Written by Nduta Wambura

Nduta Wambura is a certified Clinical Nutritionist and Public Health advocate

Website: http://www.ask-thenutritionist.com