Constipation is one of the most common intestinal disorders and consists of the difficulty of going to the loo, with the consequences of feeling constipation and uneasiness that we all know. Constipation can depend on several physiological and psychological factors and mainly affects women and the elderly.
Definition of constipation
Going to the toilet can become a nightmare for those suffering from constipation.
Constipation is the retention of feces in the fecal tube and is characterized by two phenomena:
- Slowing of the stool transit in the bowels characterized by altered motility of the colon and gastro-colic reflex, which has the function of increasing intestinal peristalsis.
- Difficulty evacuating, the so-called "obstructed defecation"
Evacuation is very subjective and depends on personal nutrition and physiology, even if one defines
"constipated" as someone who does not go to the bathroom at least 3 times a week.
Why shouldn't constipation be underestimated?
First of all, let's not forget that several essential functions of our body depend on the efficiency of the intestine, our second brain, such as that of the immune system.
If we absorb food badly, this translates into an inefficiency of the metabolic system and a consequent situation of psychophysical suffering for the whole organism. Many people make it a real problem since constipation also has really unpleasant symptomatology - such as the sense of constant abdominal bloating.
Constipation, however, is not a real disease, but a symptom of some form of ailment that should never be underestimated, also because it can cause other problems.
Remedies for constipation: what to eat
A healthy lifestyle and a balanced diet help intestinal motility.
The difficulty in defecating should be faced with a gradual and targeted approach.
- First of all, we must take care of our diet by eating foods that assist the bowels work such as fruit (especially figs, plums, kiwis, pears, apples), fresh and cooked vegetables, legumes, whole grains, seeds, foods containing probiotics such as kefir.
- Drink at least 2lt of water per day.
- Practice more physical activity, that helps intestinal motility and the activation of sluggish bowels. Also, there are rehabilitation programs carried out by physiotherapists that specifically target the pelvic floor with manipulations and massages to help the intestine work.
- Do not abuse the use of laxatives! They are highly irritating for the intestinal mucosa and, in the long run, lead to a worsening of the problem.
Laxatives yes, laxatives no
To move bowels right away we can recur to an emergency approach: laxatives, which are divided into different categories:
- mechanically acting laxatives,
- "mass formers" that increase the fecal mass,
- laxatives that act by osmosis.
The most commonly used belong to the category of "anthraquinones" which should be used sporadically, only when constipation has lasted for several days. These agents (including plants) have a powerful irritating action on the intestinal mucosa. Let's keep in mind that prolonged use of osmotic laxatives can produce serious side effects, as well as the chronicity of the problem, and are not recommended during pregnancy and many other circumstances.
Go to the bathroom with...psyllium seeds
Here we come to the remedy that can help going to the toilet smoothly. It is a completely natural, widespread and completely beneficial laxative, psyllium (Plantago psyllium), a plant of the Plantaginaceae family which is particularly suitable for chronic constipation.
Here are some reasons why psyllium is one of the most recommended remedies for those suffering from constipation:
- Psyllium seeds have excellent natural laxative and soothing properties because, in contact with water, they swell increasing in volume up to 30 times compared to dry seeds, producing a gel that increases the amount of fecal mass, softening it and facilitating expulsion even in case of hemorrhoids or anal fissures.
- The mucilage of psyllium seeds is formed by water-soluble fibers which have a non-aggressive laxative effect on the intestinal mucosa and an emollient, soothing and protective action.
- The use of psyllium does not lead to the vicious circle of chronic constipation as it happens with osmotic laxatives.
- Psyllium is also useful in case of diarrhea because it absorbs excess fluids and increases the consistency of the fecal mass, colitis and all inflammations of the intestinal walls.
- Natural mechanical laxative, psyllium seeds also have prebiotic properties that favor the growth of a beneficial bacterial flora at the expense of pathogenic strains.
- Thanks to its 100% harmless anti-inflammatory and soothing properties, psyllium fiber is an ideal mechanical type laxative for pregnant women, children and heart patients who cannot take other types of laxatives.
Necessary: ??before taking Psyllium fiber you need to drink plenty of water! Like all fibers, then keep in mind that, if taken simultaneously with other drugs, it can reduce intestinal absorption, therefore the medicines should be taken at least 1 hour before or at least 3 hours after the ingestion of psyllium.
Have you ever tried to fight constipation with psyllium? Let us know your experience in the comments.