Article written in collaboration with Vie de Parents and Lax A Day.
Poor digestive health leads to various problems, including constipation. Constipation can affect your day-to-day life. Let's demystify the causes, symptoms and solutions to overcome constipation.
What causes constipation?
Almost a quarter of the Canadian population suffers from constipation. There are many factors that cause constipation, and they differ from one person to another. The most common causes of constipation are:
- A diet low in fibre
- Insufficient fluid intake (dehydration)
- Certain medications
- Changes in routine (including travel)
- Anxiety and stress
- Lack of physical exercise
- Lack of sleep
- Recent pregnancy or childbirth
- Health problems
The causes listed above can affect the intestinal system and cause real discomfort.
Symptoms related to constipation
Most people have experienced the common problem of constipation. There are several symptoms that you may experience, including:
- Cramps and bloating
- Irregular and less frequent bowel movements
- Difficulty passing stools
- Hard stools
- Unusual and staggered times to have a bowel movement
- A feel that something is “stuck”
- A decrease in frequency, i.e. less than 3 times per week.
A healthy lifestyle helps prevent constipation problems.
Keep in mind that eating high-fibre foods promotes healthy bowel movements, which reduces constipation. A diet low in fibre often leads to bloating or other discomforts. The ideal daily fibre level for an adult is 30 grams. Opt for the following foods:
- Fruits and vegetables (with peels)
- Whole grain bread, cereals and pasta
- Legumes, such as beans and peas
- Nuts and seeds
It is also important to gradually increase fluid intake, such as water and various broths. Avoid caffeine, alcohol and all sugary drinks.
Adopting healthy lifestyle habits gives you the opportunity to reduce the risks associated with constipation, including:
Exercise reduces your chances of being affected by constipation, all while providing energy and contributing to good physical health.
The need to go to the bathroom
Going to the bathroom when you need to is essential. Waiting or avoiding going increases the risk of constipation. Setting a specific time of day to go to the bathroom, either in the morning or 30 minutes after eating, without being in a hurry, is a good habit to start.
A stable routine
Stability in your daily life, either in terms of your diet or sleep patterns, helps prevent constipation. Cut down on alcohol and tobacco consumption. Find effective ways to manage stress. These lifestyle changes can significantly reduce constipation problems.
Some people may need a little extra help to get things done.
The Lax-A Day® solution
Lax-A Day® is a powdered product that relieves occasional constipation when added to a liquid, such as water or juice. It softens your stools so that they can be expelled more easily. It also increases the frequency of stools. Lax-A Day® is gentle on the digestive system and does not cause unpleasant bowel movements or urges to go to the bathroom. Lax-A Day® is available in several formats, including convenient travel pouches.
Lax-A Fibre® helps you increase your fibre levels, while forming soft, bulky stools.
Lax-A Senna® comes in tablet form and can be taken at bedtime for quick relief the next day.
There's no shame in suffering from constipation. Just take charge today of your health today! Don't hesitate to ask your healthcare professional for help in deciding which product is best for you.
Take care of yourself!
For more information on the digestive system, consult our free guide The digestive system from one end to the other.