Health One Family Medicine

Take a Vacation from Constipation

Many people believe constipation is associated with the difficulty to defecate alone. However, it involves more complex processes than just that. The term constipation also includes hard or lumpy stools, inability to fully empty the rectum, or strained bowel movements.

Having a normal bowel movement is a must. But before we get on to learning how we can maintain one, it is important that we understand what is considered a “normal bowel movement”.

Having 3 bowels movements per day or week is classified as normal. Having less than 3 bowel movements per week indicates constipation.

Coming to the essence of the topic, there are many ways to induce bowel movements, to stay in the normal defecation range. These include:

1.    Stay Away Or Reduce The Amount Of CRAP:

C= Caffeine (as it dries the bowel)

R= Refined sugars (as such food becomes a breeding ground for bacteria in the body)

A= Antibiotics (as they take away good bacteria)

P= Processed foods

This means that healthy eating habits (fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes) can rebalance your bowel movements in case you are having problems.

2.    De-Stress:

Our hectic lifestyle and work schedules rarely leave us with any time to calm down. One of the most ignored causes of constipation or a troublesome bowel is stress. Stress affects the bowel the same way it affects the brain and the body. It causes fatigue, slows us down, and leads to further depression.

3.    Get Pumping:

In order to have a healthy bowel, daily physical activity (even if it is for a few minutes) is required. Can’t take out the time to join a gym? Just turn up the music and do some crazy moves, ditch the elevator, do some running inside the house or perform a cardio workout. As long as it makes you sweat and gets your heart beating faster than normal, it is good. Remember, a stagnant body equals a stagnant bowel. 

4.    Stay Hydrated:

Staying hydrated is also important to prevent constipation or a bad bowel. You shouldn’t only drink water when you feel thirsty. Make it a habit to keep drinking water throughout the day. Keep a water bottle on your office desk to make sure that you don’t become dehydrated.

5.    Eat Mindfully:

Too busy? Can only take a five minute break to eat your food before heading off to your next meeting? Proper chewing of food allows the digestive process to get a kick start. The less grinding the digestive system must do, the easier and faster it will move down the digestive tract and pass out of the rectum. Therefore, eat mindfully and chew properly. Take out the time to really enjoy your food and notice the many flavors it has.

Talking about your bowel may seem like an uncomfortable topic to discuss with your physician but chronic constipation can have some life-threatening side effects. Set up an appointment today with Dr. Parikh at Health One Family Medicine to learn more about it and discuss your options. To schedule a consultation, call 469-262-5762, or visit for more information.