Constipation: our tips to lift blockage
This very common transit disorder can disappear by rebalancing its diet. Surveys show that we do not eat enough fiber!
Stress, change of habits … The intestine, capricious organ, tends to block at the slightest annoyance. The bowel problems are common during travel, hospitalization and in all situations where access to toilets is complicated.
Less than three bowel movements per week
Traditionally, constipation is defined as fewer than three stools per week. But Professor Thierry Piche, a gastroenterologist, prefers to include “a feeling of dissatisfaction.” This broader vision shows how constipation can ruin your life. Each of us experienced this inconvenience. However, 10 to 20% of the population live in a permanent way, for more than six months.
It is sometimes difficult to identify the cause. In consultation, the gastroenterologist checks by a blood test that there is no renal insufficiency, thyroid problem or anemia. In the case of aggravation of the symptoms or a family history of colon cancer, it will propose a colon exploration by colonoscopy.
It can also look for a drug cause, knowing that morphine-based pain relievers or antihypertensives slow transit. But, in many cases, the real reasons are to be sought on the lifestyle side.
Staying tuned to your body
Every morning, the intestine sends signals that it is important to listen to the pain of disrupting a beautiful mechanical. While we are still asleep, the digestive tract starts again at four or five in the morning.
“Breakfast, which is taken between six and eight hours, triggers the gastrocolic reflex. We must respect this physiological movement because it is the best time to go to the saddle. If this need is not recognized, the reflex is suppressed, and the sensation of need is blunted, ” explains Professor Piche
Ideally, you would have to sit quietly in clean, well-insulated, quiet toilets. Many people became constipated in childhood because the sanitary facilities in their school were dirty and totally lacking in privacy.
Enrich your diet with fiber
Studies show that a diet rich enough in fiber, 25 to 30 grams per day, increases the frequency of stools. However, the French, especially women and children, are far from the mark.
Fibers derived from fruits, vegetables or whole grains are only partially digested in the intestine and retain water. This increases stool volume and makes evacuation easier.
In order not to risk bloating and intestinal pain, it is necessary to increase its fiber intake, over ten days gradually.
Foods high in fiber
Almonds with skin: 12.6 g *
Dried figs: 11.4 *
Cooked red beans: 7.3 *
Fresh raspberries: 6.7 *
The prunes: 5.8 *
Complete bread: 5,6 *
The fried leeks: 3.2 *
* For 100 grams
No need to drink more water than usual. However, the mineral waters rich in magnesium (Hepar, Rozana …) have laxative properties.
Use laxatives with caution
There are different families of diuretic medicines. Many are available in the pharmacy. “Only 20% are ordered by a doctor,” says Professor Piche.
If there is no risk of taking a laxative in self-medication, the specialist recommends instead to follow the advice of a physician, to be sure to make a suitable product.
The laxatives whose active principle retains water, which increases the volume of stool, (polyethylenes glycol, macrogols, mucilages, psyllium, ispaghul …), are given in the first intention.
In the case of failure, one can switch to stimulant laxatives (administered rectally), preferably less than ten days, as they can alter the mucosa of the colon. Herbal products such as senna, Bourdain or rhubarb must also be restricted to less than ten days.