Since constipation is often considered a taboo topic, many people are uneducated about its causes, symptoms and treatments. Learn the difference between fact or fiction and find out how much you know about constipation and what you can do to relieve its symptoms.
1. Normal people have at least one bowel movement per day.
Only half of the world’s population experiences at least one bowel movement per day. You should have at least three bowel movements per week or more to keep your digestive system regular. If you experience less than three movements a week or feel bloated or uncomfortable, talk to your doctor about possible medications or natural remedies.
2. If you have less than five bowel movements per week, you have chronic constipation.
Fiction. As long as you have at least three bowel movements per week, you are considered normal. The average adult has between 3 and 21 bowel movements each week. If you fall within that range, congratulations! You have a normal digestive system. If you experience this number of bowel movements but still feel uncomfortable or as though your stool is becoming backed up, talk to your doctor.
Exercise helps to ease the pain of constipation; if you’re constipated, you should try to move around more.
Fact. Staying active can help ease your constipation pain and help keep your digestive system moving more regularly.
4. The older you get, the more bowel movements you should have each day.
Fiction. Most people have fewer bowel movements as they age. Many senior citizens experience slow bowels and find that foods naturally high in fiber like prunes or nuts can help ease the discomfort of constipation.
5. Chronic constipation affects only 20 percent of adults in the United States.
Chronic constipation is a real problem for many adults. Around 15 to 20 percent of Americans suffer from chronic constipation. If you suffer from chronic constipation or irritable bowel syndrome, you’re not alone; there are plenty of other people who find discomfort from these afflictions and there are plenty of ways to naturally ease this discomfort and pain.
6. Constipation is caused by poor diet; if you have constipation, it’s your fault.
Fiction. Though many factors can contribute to constipation, it is not necessarily your fault. Many other factors like genetics, stress and medications are linked to chronic constipation. Stress is one of the largest factors in constipation. People who are dealing with deep emotional or psychological issues experience chronic constipation. Many people who experience depression also find that constipation accompanies their depressive symptoms. Anyone experiencing life changes like extended travel, a break in routine, a big move, a new job, a death or illness in the family or a change in hormones may also experience constipation as the result of these emotional issues.
Don’t let fear or embarrassment allow you to suffer from constipation any longer. Learn what the myths and realities are of constipation and talk to your doctor about all-natural or medical treatment options that can help subside your uncomfortable symptoms.