I still remember the day I delivered my son. He was delivered through a vacuum, after which I had severe stitches due to tearing. It took me 1.5 months to fully recover from the pain caused by the stitches.
Before discharging from the hospital, my gynecologist gave me stool softener medication and laxatives, so that I have soft stool. She suggested me to take a lot of liquids. She also instructed me not to put pressure on my anus due to the stitches. We came home from the hospital with our one-day-old child. And, I didn’t have any bowel movement. Medicines which my doctor gave me for easy passing of stool were not working. I just waited for the first two days and there was a different kind of discomfort. I cried and had different types of foods which could help me get relief from constipation, I even put the pressure so that my bowels could start working as usual. But nothing worked. I was not able to talk to anybody about my problem. On the fifth day, I talked to my husband about it and then we approached the doctor to seek medical help.
Today when I think about it, I feel bad, as to why I was not able to talk to somebody on the very first day. What was restricting me? Why did I have to suffer from the constipation problem silently?
I know, it was a temporary phase of my life, but what about the people who are dealing with such a problem on daily basis. You can be constipated in many situations like:
- When you are in travel
- When you are in stress
- When you are on medication
- When you are dehydrated
- When you don’t eat enough high-fiber foods
- When you are diagnosed with digestive disorder
- When you are on iron supplement
Many women, during pregnancy and after childbirth, face constipation. Nowadays, even children have a bad constipation problem and you can see how bad the situation is, by seeing their faces on potty seats.
During this journey of motherhood, a lot of moms asked me about this problem for themselves and for their children too. First thing, which I suggest all moms is to talk openly. You can’t cure constipation problem while keeping yourself silent. You have to approach the experts at the right time. You are not alone, millions of people throughout the world are suffering from constipation. But they are not open to speaking up about constipation. It’s a stigma.
How To Know Whether You Are Constipated:
- If your bowel movements are fewer than three times a week
- If you have difficulty in passing stools
- If there is blood in stools
- If your stools are hard and lumpy
- If you constantly feel your bowel movements are incomplete
Talking about constipation is not something shameful. I read somewhere-
Human’s emotions are connected with his motions 🙂
Constipation for a long time can have an adverse effect on your gut health, so you must seek medical help before it gets worse.
Have you ever heard about gut health?
What is gut (gastrointestinal tract)?
A gut is a long tube that starts at the mouth and ends at the anus. It is a group of organs that includes the mouth, esophagus, stomach, pancreas, liver, gallbladder, small intestine, colon and rectum (large bowel).
Gut processes the food we eat. Gut uses helpful bacteria, called ‘probiotics’, to process food into energy. Food which is processed through the gut is either absorbed by the body or passed out as a stool. When your body has an imbalance of helpful bacteria, it can cause problems like constipation, bloating, abdominal pain, gas, and Vitamin B12 deficiency.
Probiotics (good bacteria) in the gut are very important to keep our digestion system healthy.
They help us in:
- Digesting food
- Absorbing nutrients present in the food
- Breaking down medications
- Killing the bad bacteria which can cause infection or harm digestion
So, you must take good care of your gut health, by maintaining a good amount of probiotics in your body. To do so:
- Eat probiotic-rich foods, like yogurt, kefir, apple cider vinegar and dark chocolate
- Cut down on sugar and processed foods intake
- Cut down on the intake of antibiotics
- Eat prebiotic(fiber-rich) foods like asparagus, garlic, onion, banana, tomato and whole grain which encourage probiotics to grow and multiply in your gut
- Keep yourself stress-free and do some exercises to stay fit
When Should You See A Doctor?
People don’t like to talk about constipation openly, which is really wrong. When you know you are constipated, you must consult your doctor in order to rule out possible serious problems.
If constipation is not treated on time, it can aggravate other digestive issues like straining during bowel movement, fissures, and even hemorrhoids. (swollen veins in the bowel).
Generally, constipation lasts for a short time and is not dangerous. You can take few steps to get relief from constipation:
- Eat fiber-rich foods.
- Increase your liquid intake. Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water in a day.
- Have two full glasses of water when you wake up in the morning.
- Incorporate a few exercises to get relief from constipation.
- Keep yourself active and happy.
- Visit the restroom as soon as you feel the urge to go.
However, if you are experiencing abdominal pain, swelling in or around the anus, hard stools, blood in stool, even with high fiber intake and regular exercise, you must visit the doctor.
Any opinion expressed in this blog is my personal opinion and not the opinion of Abbott India Limited. Abbott India Limited does not assume any liability for the content of the blog. The blog post is not meant to be a replacement for a doctor consultation, nor is it a medical recommendation or prescription of treatment for people having constipation problems. Any reader of this blog suffering from constipation problems should specifically consult his/her doctor for treatment and follow the suggested course of treatment.