After reading my blog on Poop…most of my blog reader’s reaction was Ewww!! Most of us feel the same way when we talk about shit or pee. But we forget that its part of our own body and we are only responsible for how it turns out. In my years of experience..I have noticed that many of them have issue related to clear bowel movement. –medically termed as CONSTIPATION and is one of the reason for not losing weight too.
In Bollywood.too….many films are made on this—like Toilet—Ekpremkatha, Piku, Delhi Belly. The over or underuse of toilet is always an issue!
Constipation is defined as lesser than three stools per week and Chronic constipation means once or less per week.
Most of us have gone through this phase sometime or other in our life. Have you ever wondered why? Well, I know this topic is not that which eases our mind but it’s important to know about it.
Constipation can results into symptoms like abdominal discomfort, feeling of incomplete evacuation, hard stools, rectal or anal bleeding.
Constipation occurs where the food in the stomach and intestine is taking an inconsistently long time to be digested. The contractions that push the food forward is called the peristalsis movement. When the chyme (semi-digested food) is not pushed forward but remains in the intestine it starts fermenting, causing gases and bloating to occur. The water content has all been absorbed so it becomes dry and peristalsis becomes even more difficult and even painful at times.
When we travel our eating, sleeping habits become irregular, bringing with it changes in our digestive system which can sometimes cause constipation. It can also happen due to some medications, low fibre diet, hormonal disorders, stress, pelvic disorder, less water intake. When that happens we must increase our water intake immediately so as to keep the colon well hydrated to make sure that the chyme doesn’t dry out.
Another reason could also be a sedentary lifestyle. It is important to keep up with moderate activity as we grow older our metabolism gradually slows down and with it the digestive process. Our body is like a machine that we need to keep well-oiled in all departments to keep working properly.
Here are Simple solutions that can help to prevent and cure it.
1. Good Fibre: Increase fiber intake so that there is sufficient fibre for bile to mix with and digest the food. Soluble fibre softens the stools and insoluble fibre adds bulk and roughage to the stools. Eg Legumes, Oats, rice bran, whole fruits, green vegetables ,figs , nuts and seeds.etc. Apple and guava works best as per my personal experience.
2. Adequate hydration is must: Increase your water intake makes possible for the insoluble fibre in the colon to move forward more effectively.. Water ensure a good production of digestive juices in the stomach and intestine and smooth passage of food thorough the intestine. It even makes stools softer to ensure they are passed out easily. Drink about 3-3.5ltrs per day to keep cells hydrated.
Use the bathroom as and when needed. Do not hold back.
3. Regularize lifestyle and eating and sleeping patterns. Have good sound sleep and avoid stress. Destress yourself with some meditation or deep breathing techniques
4. Avoid all the packaged foods, and foods loaded with refined flour. Trans fat, sodium and other preservatives are low in fibre or lack fibre completely.
5. One of the best home remedy is to soak 2 figs or 4-5raisins overnight and then have it in the morning with a glass of luke warm water. Prunes also acts as a great laxative.
6. One tbsp of castor oil or cold pressed virgin coconut oil works best if had before going to bed . It helps in smooth passage of stools next morning.
7. Our ancient study says—Triphala powder—one tbsp in glass of luke warm water helps in detoxifying and cleansing the colon and rectum.
8. Exercise about 30-45min daily. This improves blood circulation which promotes better digestion and hence clear bowel movement. Avoid exercise immediately after meals.
Let me share some basic yoga asanas which can be done daily to regularize your bowel movement. Yoga helps revitalise your body and also increases the flow of blood and oxygen in the system, thereby, improving your digestive system.
Ardha-Matsyendrasana (Sitting Half Spinal Twist Pose)
How to do it:
* Sit down on the ground with your legs extended in front of you; toes pointed toward the ceiling.
* Bend your left leg, under your right one, placing your foot next to your right buttock.
* Place the right foot firm on the ground, near the left knee.
* Extend both your arms, and twist your upper body to the right. Place the right arm on the ground behind the back, and your lefthand on the right ankle in front of your body.
* Sustain the pose for at least 30 seconds. Gradually, increase the time to 1 minute.
* Release and repeat on the other side.
Benefits: This pose stimulates the pancreas, liver, spleen, kidneys, stomach, and ascending and descending colons, hence, improving bowel movements and providing relief from constipation.
Pavanmuktasana (Wind-Relieving Pose)
This is one of the easiest and most effect Yoga pose if you are felly gassy.
How to do it:
* Recline on your back and hug your legs into your chest.
* Pull the head up and try to put your nose in between the knees.
* You may rock genty if you wish too. Release after 10 to 15 seconds.
* Alternatively, you can extend one leg out.
Benefits: As the name suggests, this posture helps release gas from the body, a common trouble of constipation. The posture can help cure several digestive disorders, including dyspepsia. It also helps in relieving acid reflux which is caused by indigestion.
Shishuasana/Balasana (Child Pose)
This position means that you crouch down over your knees on the floor, pushing onto your lower abdomen.
How to do it:
* Start by kneeling on your knees, with your knees touching.
* Sit down so your bottom is touching your feet and your hands are on your knees.
* Place your hands on the floor in front of you and slowly start to move them forward, lowering your body down until your stomach is on your knees and your arms are stretched out in front of you. Your hands stay touching the floor or you can take them back to hold your feet.
* Now relax, taking slow deep breaths in and out of your nose.
* Hold for about 30 seconds and let the weight of your body go so that you are relaxed in this pose, and your knees push into the abdomen to provide relief.
* Then slowly work your way back up.
Benefits: Relieve any pain that you may get when constipated.
Malasana (Garland Pose)
How to do it:
* Squat down with your feet as close together as possible, and slightly pigeon-toed or pointing outwards.
* Your heels should be on the floor – you can always place a folded towel underneath them if this isn’t possible at first.
* Separate your thighs so that they are slightly wider than your body, and then lean forward between your thighs.
* As you do so, place your elbows on the inside of your knees with your palms together in a prayer position and gently push against your knees, which helps to lengthen the abdomen.
* Hold for 30 seconds, breathing gently through the nose before releasing.
Benefits: This pose will help you to relax and stretch the intestines.
So, in case your bowel movements are irregular stop worrying and start practising! Just give few minutes of your daily time, along with healthy diet and good sleep…and you can actually look forward to a healthy digestive system and a happier you!!