How Do You Know You’re Constipated?

A digestive system which includes a colon, intestines and the necessity to move the bowels is a feature that is common among all mammals. These organs are necessary in order to ensure that we are able to move solid waste from our body, continuing to promote a clean system and good health. In human beings, the condition of a bowel movement, including its colour, shape and density, is one of the easiest ways to analyse the health of an individual. The waste contains enzymes from the body’s digestive system and its physical qualities indicate the state of the digestive system. When the body, particularly the digestive system, is in distress, it is possible that bowel movements will be especially loose and need to be passed frequently or be overly compacted and unable to be moved. The condition in which the bowels are compacted and it is difficult or impossible to move waste is called constipation.

How Do I Know If I Am Constipated?

constipation, constripatedThe first and most obvious indication of constipation is the inability to move your bowels. Most people’s digestive systems, when they are functioning as they ought to, leave them with an idea of how many times they pass waste in a day or a week on average. A person with a healthy digestive system generally passes a bowel movement at least once a day. If the number of times you move your bowels decreases over a couple of days or becomes non-existent, you are likely constipated. You may feel the urge to pass waste and have an aching sensation in your colon or intestines, feeling swollen. Some diffuse symptoms of constipation include the retaining of water in the hands or feet, a headache and pain in the lower back. It is important to know that if constipation does not resolve itself and remains untreated, it can turn into a severe medical issue called an intestinal blockage. This issue often requires a visit to a hospital in order to be resolved.

How Do I Treat My Constipation?

Being constipated is an uncomfortable state that only continues to feel worse as time progresses without a bowel movement. When treating the issue, symptoms may take a day or two to fully resolve as the bowels are emptied. The most important thing that someone suffering from constipation can do is to drink as much water as possible. Dehydration can cause issues with hardened bowels, and increasing hydration levels by consuming at least eight glasses of water a day can help the condition to resolve. Stimulant laxatives are an option that can assist the bowels to move, but it can also cause overly loose stools after the fact. In some cases, a glycerin suppository inserted into the anus is an appropriate solution, as it helps to lubricate the rectal package to allow waste to move more easily. If this is not on the top of your list to do, try a fast acting laxative before going through any extreme procedures.

In order to prevent future constipation, staying hydrated is a must. In addition, adding fibre to the diet helps to make stools bulky but soft, making them easier to pass. Probiotic yoghurt is another solution that many people turn to, as the bacteria in the yogurt help to regulate the digestive system and encourage healthy bowels.

Mandy is a stay-at-home mum with 2 children in primary school, in her past time she loves to garden, travel, cook and write blogs for other stay at home mums and anyone with similar interests.

Image credit: David Castillo Dominici/

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