Every so often, it smacks you out of no where...
And, then you're doubled over in pain, and for hours afterwards you're too uncomfortable to move around.
You put on a brave face and pretend there's nothing wrong, but boy, does constipation put a downer on your day!
Find out below what causes it and how you can finally kiss it good-bye for good!
You'll be surprised that it's not always about what you eat...
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Everyone goes on about what you should and shouldn't eat... Granted, given that constipation attacks your digestive system, it makes sense to figure out what triggers the attacks.
But that's the obvious stuff you've probably already worked out. You know, like when you eat dairy, you know what you're in for... Or, if you change your breakfast routine and decide to have pastries instead of high-fibre cereal... Or, if you don't drink enough water during the day, etc...
Here's the stuff no one has probably told you yet...
1. You're putting it off! That's right, when you get the urge at work, you feel too embarrassed to go for a poop in the communal toilets so you hold it in until you get home. Problem with this is that you're telling your body that you're not okay with pooping so it adapts and tries to poop less for you, and the longer you wait, the more water is absorbed from the poop, making the stools harder to 'move out' when it's more convenient for you...
2. Routine changes: If you like to follow a routine every day, changes to your routine could bring on constipation. For example, if you normally brush your teeth, have breakfast, feed the dog then have a poop before you jump into the shower in the mornings, your body learns to do things in that specific order.
Now, you're on holiday and you wake up later, you decide to have breakfast, then jump in the shower, and suddenly the poop just doesn't happen!
Or worse, you're on a business trip and your routine, environment AND time zones have changed - oh boy!
3. Medication: You've thrown your shoulder out during tennis and your doctor prescribes stronger painkillers for you... Or, your psychologist prescribes antidepressants and suddenly you can't go... Heart disease and blood pressure meds, antacids, asthma meds, antihistamines... These could be the real reason your bowels are on strike!
4. Too much calcium: If someone has put the fear of osteoporosis in you and you've started taking calcium to prevent it, or you're suddenly taking antacids for heartburn, you're probably taking too much of it! Slow down on the calcium.
5. You're sick: Constipation is one of the symptoms associated with diabetes, thyroid problems, MS, Parkinson's and bowel cancer. If you can't figure out what's causing your constipation, go for a check-up to rule out any other possible reason...
Keep reading for constipation remedies no has probably told you about either...
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5 Little-known remedies for constipation
1. Order soup for starters! So, you're out with your friends and you know you haven't pooped so things are going to get worse later... Well, order pea, lentil or bean soup for starters. That will give your digestive tract a little push-start for when you get back home...
2. Add chia seeds to your breakfast! Especially if you know you're going to be travelling and your routine is likely to change... Chia seeds are high in fibre and magnesium, among other essential nutrients. Add just one teaspoon to your breakfast at least a week before you travel and take them with you in your luggage.
3. Change up your routine up a little! Ok, so you've always exercised after work but now as you're getting a little older, you're skipping most of the time and it's getting all a bit much for you.
Well, move your exercise routine to the mornings before breakfast. Exercise gets you going in so many ways - and one of them is in the loo... Now, you're really 'skipping'!
4. Bring on the coffee! So, you've been told to stay away from the java, but if you start feeling a bout of constipation springing on you, get the kettle boiling! Coffee stimulates the intestinal muscles!
5. Carry a bag of mints with you! Peppermint promotes the release of bile which soothes the lining in the intestines, so when you're starting to get that all-too-familiar feeling that you're going to be 'stuck inside', start sucking on those mints!
Don't let constipation rule your life, take control by finding what works for you... By listening to your body.
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