Constipation: Drinking water is essential: In the case of constipation, thinking about drinking well is as important as eating fiber or practicing physical activity.
Am I constipated?
Constipation is very common: it affects 20% of the population and women are 2 to 3 times more affected than men.
How do you know if you are constipated?
Constipation is defined by a simple test. If you have observed at least two of the following criteria during the last three months, you probably suffer from constipation:
- you go to the bowel less than three times a week;
- you must make an effort to evacuate your stools;
- you have hard stools;
- you have a feeling of blockage or obstruction in the anus;
- you need manual maneuvers to help you evacuate your stool.
The course of the water
Here is a small anatomical reminder to understand the critical role of water in transit.
The water we drink comes in the stomach. If it is empty, the water is evacuated in 30 minutes. If it is full, the water mixes with food for 3 to 4 hours. It passes through the small intestine where the water serves as a diluent for digestive products.
In the colon, the water is reabsorbed to 80% in standard time: this contributes to the proper functioning of the flora and adds to the volume of the stool (about 200 ml/day). When there is not enough water consumed every day, the stools are not sufficiently hydrated and do not promote the progression of the intestinal contractions which ensure a good transit “.
It is therefore understood that not drinking sufficiently helps slow transit or even constipation.
Different constipated profiles
If you experience constipation while you have never had a previous transit problem, blood in the stool or abnormal abdominal pain, make an appointment with your doctor. This may reveal a pathology (hypothyroidism for example). A colonoscopy will be prescribed for you to establish an accurate diagnosis.
Constipation may also be a side effect of treatment: antidepressants and anxiolytics, in particular.
There are four types of constipation:
- chronic constipation, which has a physiologically lazy intestine;
- constipated travel, whose transit does not support changes in habits (jet lag, food and drink different …);
- stressed constipation, where pressure plays a role in transit;
- constipated “too little,” which does not eat enough fruits and vegetables and does not drink enough water.
Hydration, essential to transit
You should drink at least 6 to 8 glasses of water per day (this is an average, variable from one individual to another, your activity, outside temperature, etc.).
All occasions are suitable for drinking water, but also tea, coffee, juices … Think about it:
- in the morning, on awakening: a large glass of water sets in motion the digestive tract;
- at the end of the morning, drink a glass of calm water;
- at every meal: contrary to popular belief, drinking during meals does not prevent digestion;
- systematically after peeing to compensate for the lost volume.
If you are not a big drinker, consider leaving a bottle of water close to you: on your desk when you work, in the kitchen, at the foot of the bed, etc. You can also opt for a mineral water rich in magnesium, with laxative virtues, like Hepar.
Other tricks to improve its transit
In parallel with proper hydration, apply these tips to avoid constipation:
- Increase your fiber intake, i.e., eat more raw vegetables, salads, dried fruits and oilseeds, pulses, fresh fruits (the famous prunes!), Whole-wheat bread or whole grains …
- Practice physical activity: walk, swim or do exercises that work the abs, they improve transit;
- Treat your intestinal flora (which plays a significant role in the transit), avoiding the factors of aggression (limit the cures of antibiotics to the strictly necessary) and enriching it with prebiotics or probiotics.