The frequency of bowel movements varies and depends on many factors, including age and diet. Bowel movements three times a day are just as normal as once every three days. In children, it varies between several times a day in fully breastfed infants up to once a week. In the older child, it is up to three times a week, several times a day (as in adults). Constipation (constipation) is said to be less than 3 bowel movements per week, so if there is too rarely a defecation or this is incomplete. With infrequent defecation of the diet is thickened by dehydration more and more and the stool is hard and dry. This can lead to bloating, abdominal pain or flatulence.
Causes of constipation
- a one-sided diet that contains too little fiber
- too low fluid intake
- sedentary lifestyle
- Hectic, stress or mental stress
- Diet change during or after a trip
- laxative abuse
- Medicines, eg iron supplements, some antidepressants, painkillers
- certain diseases, eg diabetes mellitus
Treatment: fiber for constipation
When the intestines become sluggish, a high-fiber diet, a sufficient intake and daily exercise can be remedied in many cases. Gradually adjust your diet to a high-fiber diet with at least 30 g of fiber per day.
The change should be done slowly over several days or weeks, so that your intestines can get used to the new situation. In the beginning he may react with flatulence and discomfort. These accompanying effects usually disappear after a settling time of about one to two weeks.
- Increase the consumption of wholemeal bread (200 g / day), preferably from finely ground wholemeal flour.
- When baking, gradually replace white flour with wholegrain flour.
- Increase the consumption of other whole grains (unpeeled rice, whole wheat pasta).
- Eat cereal on a wholegrain basis (50 g / day) for breakfast or in between meals.
- Eat fruits and vegetables more often. Try following the recommendations of 2 servings of fruits and 3 servings of vegetables per day.
- Eat more dishes with legumes more often.
- Eat soaked baked fruit in between. If necessary, you can puree this fine.
- Also can be pure dietary fiber supplements, z. B. wheat or oat bran and flaxseed meal.
Remember to drink enough, ie at least 1.5 liters per day. Dietary fiber can only perform its function if sufficient fluid is available.
7 tips to support chair regulation
Support the chair regulation additionally by the following measures:
- Eat foods with laxative effects daily, eg sour milk products (yoghurt, quark, sour milk) and sauerkraut
- Limit the consumption of low-fiber foods such as fine pastry and pasta, sugar, chocolate, etc.
- Take advantage of the natural emptying stimulus, which can be triggered especially in the morning by a sufficient breakfast or a glass of cold fruit juice.
- Move regularly - cycling or walking are perfectly adequate. While lack of exercise promotes constipation, stimulation of movement stimulates the intestinal passage of the food and thus the bowel movement.
- By the way, there are also various yoga exercises that can help with constipation. Maybe a yoga class would be a nice change? Other relaxation techniques such as autogenic training are helpful.
- Rising and hypotonic foot baths stimulate the intestinal activity. Cold water stimuli also promote digestion. For a rising foot bath, keep your feet in about 33 ° C warm water to which you add more warm water within 10 minutes, until the temperature is 40 degrees.
- Consider whether you can not attend a fasting week. Fasting stimulates the metabolism and often regulates the intestinal activity in the long term.
In many cases, a constipation can be remedied by changing the diet, adequate hydration and more exercise within a short time. If you still suffer from constipation despite these measures, you should definitely consult the doctor. Absolutely medical advice is to be obtained if in addition other complaints occur, in case of severe pain or if blood appears in the stool.
Laxative against constipation
Another way to fix constipation is to use laxatives. However, they should not be used too soon and only for a short time. In prolonged use, most laxatives cause serious health damage. The reason lies in the increased excretion of water and salts. This reduces bowel movement even further and can lead to chronic intestinal diseases.
Especially the lack of potassium makes the intestine sluggish. The renewed grip on laxatives further increases the potassium deficiency and it leads to a veritable vicious circle. Very quickly this leads to a dependence on laxatives.
- Swelling and fillers, such as psyllium, wheat bran or flaxseed, contain indigestible fibers that absorb water. Like a compressed sponge, these substances swell up with water, thereby increasing their volume in the intestine. This stimulates the intestinal activity. Important is the sufficient fluid intake (drink a lot!), So that the preparations swell well.
- Osmotic laxatives are salts, hard-to-absorb sugars, or sugar alcohols that bind water in the gut. The chair volume is thereby larger, the chair is softer. These include, for example, Epsom salt, Glauber's salt, lactose, lactulose or sorbitol. Again, enough liquid must be drunk. Milk sugar is also suitable for babies and toddlers as an occasional laxative.
- Synthetic laxatives, for example bisacodyl, sodium picosulfate, and herbal laxatives, eg senna leaves, rhubarb, buckthorn bark, prevent to varying degrees the thickening of the stool in the large intestine and promote the proper movements of the intestine. These preparations are only for short-term use.