6 Causes of Constipation and Diarrhea, Best Aid to Digestion
Causes of constipation and Diarrhea
Constipation is a common condition that affects people of all ages. When you’re not passing stools regularly or you’re unable to completely empty your bowel. Causes of Constipation and Diarrhea: not eating enough fibre, a change in your eating habits, side effects of certain medications, not drinking enough fluids, with best digestion aiding principles one can easily overcome multiple symptoms of constipation.
Constipation also cause your stools to be hard and lumpy, as well as unusually large or small. The severity of constipation varies from person to person. Many people only experience constipation for a short time, but for others, constipation can be a long-term (chronic) condition that causes significant pain and discomfort and affects quality of life.
Diarrhea is a key symptom of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). It happens because the muscles in the gut contract more than they need to. Diarrhea may be accompanied by a feeling of muscle cramps.
To produce a normal bowel movement, the gut contracts and relaxes in a rhythmic way. In IBS, however, this rhythm is disrupted. IBS can either speed up or slow down gut muscle contractions. So, IBS can cause both constipation and diarrhea at same and different times.
It’s often difficult to identify the exact cause of constipation. However, there are a number of things that contribute to the condition, including:
- Not eating enough fibre, such as fruit, vegetables and cereals
- A change in your routine or lifestyle, such as a change in your eating habits
- Ignoring the urge to pass stools
- Side effects of certain medications
- Not drinking enough fluids
- Anxiety or depression
In children, poor diet, fear about using the toilet and problems toilet training can all lead to constipation.
Medication as a causes of constipation and diarrhea
Common types of medication that can be a causes of constipation and diarrhea include:
- aluminium antacids (medicine to treat indigestion)
- antiepileptics (medicine to treat epilepsy)
- opiate painkillers, such as codeine and morphine
- diuretics (water tablets)
- iron supplements
- antipsychotics (medicine to treat schizophrenia and other mental health conditions)
- calcium supplements
Who’s affected by constipation.
Constipation can occur in babies, children and adults. It’s estimated that around 1 in every 7 adults and up to 1 in every 3 children in the UK has constipation at any one time.
The condition affects twice as many women as men and is also more common in older adults and during pregnancy.
Underlying Conditions that can be causes of constipation and diarrhea
In rare cases, constipation can be a sign of an underlying condition, such as:
- Parkinson’s disease – where part of the brain becomes progressively damaged, affecting the co-ordination of body movements
- spinal cord injury
- irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- hypercalcaemia – where there’s too much calcium in the bloodstream
- underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism)
- muscular dystrophy – a genetic condition that causes muscle wasting
- multiple sclerosis – a condition that affects the nervous system
- anal fissure – a small tear or ulcer in the skin just inside the anus
- inflammatory bowel disease – a condition that causes the intestines to become inflamed (irritated and swollen)
- bowel cancer
Prevention of Causes of Constipation and Diarrhea
- Eat high-fiber foods or take fiber supplements. Fiber adds bulk to your bowel movement and makes it easier to pass. Raw fruits, fresh vegetables, whole grains, and beans are examples of high-fiber foods. Adults should eat at least 20 grams of fiber a day. Your healthcare provider or dietitian can help you plan meals.
- Drink liquids as directed. Liquids will help keep your bowel movements soft so you pass them with less pain. Ask your healthcare provider how much liquid to drink each day and which liquids are best for you.
- Make time for your bowel movements. You may develop constipation if you ignore the urge or wait too long. Help train your body to have regular bowel movements by setting a bathroom time each day. The best time is after a morning meal, because your colon prepares for a bowel movement when you eat.
- Exercise regularly. Exercise may help your intestines pass bowel movements more often. Ask your healthcare provider about the best exercise plan for you.
Best food to Aid Digestion
Whole grains: Digestion of food takes place the moment we put food in our mouth, the teeth starts off by grinding the food then some bacteria from the saliva starts the extraction process.
After all that is done in the mouth, the food then moves down to the stomach where it is been acted upon by acids leading to the release of nutrients and also energy.
It’s not done yet, after energy extraction, those nutrients slide into the intestine where it is then absorbed into the bloodstream.
But digestion is not complete without the removal of unwanted substances from the intestine. And to do that we need sufficient bulk, and where do bulks come from? From dietary fibre.
That where whole grains come into play, without whole grains you’re gonna be missing a very important food required for basic digestive process.
According to the DGA, an average adult is meant to consume three to five ounce-equivalent servings of fibre and out of that, half comes from whole grain.
Whole grains serves to increase the number of bacteria in our guts which also assist in the production of short-chain fatty acids. According to research, people who consume adequate whole grains score better in several tests of markers for the immune response.
Better weight management to Aid Digestion
Yap that right, Whole grains also reduce the number of calories extracted from food which invariably results in a net loss of energy of 90 calories per day.
That might not seem like much but over the course of maybe say a year, this is gonna be equivalent to nine pounds of potential fat loss. So as you can see, whole grains is beneficial to anyone struggling with weight control.
Blood sugar regulation
All those breakdown that took place in the digestive system also helps to slow down the release of blood sugar. Research has it that it helps to reduce the risk of gastric cancer.
Class of foods that falls under the whole grain family. Here are a couple of food that fall under this category;
- brown rice,
- rolled oats,
- wild rice,
- whole rye,
- millet and
When you first introduce the whole grain into your diet, you would feel a bit bloated but you will also feel the benefits of this.
Although the amount of grains you need daily varies based on your age, sex and even physical activities. But it advisable to just keep your wholegrain intake half of the total grain you take.
You could start off by replacing your white bread with wholemeal and white rice with brown rice and you should be up and running in no time.
Here are the ways to consume more grains into your diet
To change your diet to wholegrain can be really hard sometimes but with constant consumption your body gets adapted to it.
1. When buying bread or cereals, go for wholegrain-bread and cereal. You could eat a sandwich with two slices of whole meal.
2. Enjoy eating popcorn but just not pre popped corn smothered in fat, salt and sugar.
3. Always choose brown rice over white and eat a lot of blended pasta.
4. Find a way to add wholegrain to your pastries.