So you’re constipated. Blocked up. The plumbing appeared to be busted – like the constipated accountant who couldn’t budget.
Sorry, it’s no laughing matter. Certainly David, in the Bible, didn’t laugh about it. Apparently, he sat on the throne for 40 years.
In fact, it’s such a serious topic, Hollywood is making a movie about constipation – but it hasn’t come out yet.
We could go on like this for days, but where’s that going to get us? Not to the toilet, that’s for sure, so let’s see if we can help.
For a start, don’t panic if you’re only going to the toilet every two or three days. Some people go three times a day, others three times a week. That’s okay, so long as you otherwise feel fine.
But if you are constipated, what can you try at home to get the bowels moving again?
Start with your diet. Cut out or reduce your intake of processed foods and eat more cereals, fruits and vegetables.
Drink more water. This is particularly important when travelling because the tendency is to drink less because the water in some regions and countries might taste quite different to what you’re used to.
Try prunes or prune juice, which contain the natural laxative sorbitol.
Are you drinking too much coffee? While some people can’t go until they’ve had their morning coffee, it can dehydrate you and cause your stools to harden.
Try a laxative or stool softener from your local pharmacy. Softer stools pass more easily.
Try massaging your belly to relax the muscles that support the intestines. That may help you become more regular.
Exercise can help. Eat your meal, wait an hour for your body to digest the food, then get out for a 10 to 15-minute walk. And don’t necessarily stop at one.
Are you feeling depressed? Depression and stress can have adverse affects on bodily functions.
Are you taking an iron supplement? Iron is notorious for causing constipation.
If there’s no movement at the station so to speak, then see your doctor.
Among other things, he or she may check any medication you may be on. Drugs for such conditions as depression, Parkinson’s and high blood pressure can cause constipation.
And if, at any time you see blood in your stools, check whether it is bright red or dark crimson. The former may be related to haemorrhoids, while the latter can mean issues further up the bowel. Either way, see your doctor.
Do you have another remedy for constipation? Is it something that happens to you on holidays?
Health disclaimer: This article contains general information about health issues and is not advice. For health advice, consult your medical practitioner.