Constipation is when a person is experiencing infrequent bowel movements or difficulty passing stools. The condition is characterized by symptoms like passing less than 3 stools a week, straining and pain during bowel movements, incomplete bowel movements, and hard, dry, or lumpy stools.
DIETARY REASONS FOR CONSTIPATION
- High FODMAP Foods
FODMAP stands for "fermentable oligo-, di-, mono-saccharides and polyols". FODMAPs are carbohydrates that are difficult to digest for some people. FODMAPs are a group of sugars that are not completely digested or absorbed in our intestines. When FODMAPs reach the small intestine, they move slowly, attracting water. When they pass into the large intestine, FODMAPs are fermented by gut bacteria, producing gas as a result. High FODMAP foods, especially garlic and onions, are known to cause a whole host of digestive issues, such as constipation, diarrhea, gas, and bloating. As a result, these foods aren’t absorbed well in the small intestine, so people sensitive to them, especially IBS sufferers, will develop digestive symptoms after eating these foods.
Common FODMAPs include:
- Fructose: A simple sugar found in many fruits and vegetables that also makes up the structure of table sugar and most added sugars.
- Lactose: A carbohydrate found in dairy products like milk.
- Fructans: Found in many foods, including grains like wheat, spelt, rye and barley.
- Galactans: Found in large amounts in legumes.
- Polyols: Sugar alcohols like xylitol, sorbitol, maltitol and mannitol. They are found in some fruits and vegetables and often used as sweeteners.
So, when given an option, choose low FODMAP foods.
- Chewing Gum
Gum can stay in your stomach for years, but it can be harmful to your GI health. While chewing gum by itself isn’t causing constipation, it can bind with other foods, especially nuts and seeds that you might have not chewed on enough, and form clumps that are more difficult to digest. So, it’s best not to swallow gum if you’re prone to digestive issues.
- Fast Food and Ready-Made Meals
Like meat, fast foods, such as chips, french fries, and hamburgers, just to name a few, are particularly high in fat. This fat slows down your digestion. Apart from that, these foods are typically quite high in salt, which can further dehydrate you and absorb water from your intestine, and dehydration is one of the leading causes of constipation. Finally, these highly processed and fried foods are more often than not very low in fiber – which creates the bulk of stool and is extremely important for those prone to constipation.
- Alcohol, Coffee and tea
Alcohol is among the most dehydrating substances one can consume and dehydration can make your stool harder and more difficult to pass, so it’s one of the main causes of constipation. Apart from that, alcohol, especially tannin-rich varieties like wine, can decrease gastrointestinal motility, meaning that it can slow down the movement of food through the digestive system.
Likewise, if your digestion feels a bit off, it’s best to switch coffee and tea for herbal tea or coffee alternatives.
Source: Internet and other
The views expressed in this article should not be considered as a substitute for a physician’s advice. Always make sure to seek a doctor or a professional’s advice before proceeding with the home treatment plan.