By: on In Highlights

How to Prevent Constipation

Constipation can be painful and irritating. It can make you feel bloated and heavy. It can cause you to feel anxious and irritable, making the condition even more uncomfortable. Luckily, there are plenty of ways you can prevent constipation before it starts.

By incorporating healthy habits into your lifestyle, you can steer clear of constipation.

Don’t Abuse Laxatives

Many people are a little confused about this tip—wouldn’t taking too many laxatives cause excess diarrhea? The answer is no. When you abuse medications like laxatives, your body becomes unable to process waste. After abusing laxatives too much, your body becomes unable to push waste through on its own. Waste needs to have a certain mass for the muscles in your digestive system to keep it moving through. When your digestive system no longer needs to push waste through because your waste is watered down, your muscles become weak and unused. In order to avoid constipation, don’t abuse laxatives—only take them sparingly and when natural remedies cease to work

Eat a Balanced Diet

One of the biggest contributors to constipation is diet and lack of fiber. Ensuring your body has enough fiber and the right amount of nutrients is the best way to stave off digestive issues.

Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables like berries, papaya, broccoli and beans. Remember in the novel “Lord of the Flies” when all the boys experienced diarrhea because they ate too much fruit? You don’t need to eat fruit in excess in order to keep a healthy colon—just enough to keep your stool moving smoothly.

Stay Hydrated

Keeping your body hydrated can help with a variety of health issues, including a healthy digestive system. Your body needs plenty of water to keep your bowels healthy. Since most of your waste is pushed through and flushed from your body using water, you can keep your colon clean by ensuring you drink at least eight glasses of water a day.

Keep Moving

Keeping active can help ward away constipation. Your digestive system needs plenty of blood flow to stay active and strong, which you can provide by getting plenty of exercise. All you need is 20 minutes of exercise per day to keep your digestive system as happy as the rest of your body.

Going for a short walk around the neighborhood, doing a little gentle yoga or going for a gentle swim will all help to keep your digestive system regular. Also, don’t exercise too soon after eating. When you eat, your body knows to send excess blood flow to your digestive system. When you exercise, all that blood flow gets diverted to the muscles you use to exercise. Waiting at least 30 to 60 minutes to exercise after eating will help keep your digestive system on track.

Talk to Your Doctor About Medications

Before you begin taking any new medications, talk to your doctor about possible side effects. Some medications, like over-the-counter pain meds, depression medications and iron supplements can cause you to become constipated. If taking a medication is the difference between leading a healthy life and an unhealthy one, talk to your doctor about possible ways to overcome or avoid constipation while on the medication.

Though many people are plagued by constipation each year, you can avoid many of these irritating symptoms by just following a healthy diet and exercise regimen. If you feel like you might be constipated or might become constipated, talk to your doctor about possible treatments or changes in lifestyle.