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Natural Ways to Help Constipation
photo of avocado, salmon, walnuts, flax seed oil

Foods that are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids such as Salmon, walnuts, flax seeds, and fish oil all help with digestion when consumed with a healthy diet.

Constipation is not only uncomfortable to have, it can be uncomfortable to talk about, so sometimes our patients at GI-North don’t ask us questions about their bowel movements. Here are some tips.

What is Normal?

Normal bowel movements vary. If you defecate every one to six days in a regular pattern and have soft, formed, brown stools that are not terribly smelly, you are considered within the norm. However, bowel movements occurring at irregular intervals, which are very hard, bumpy, or pebble shaped and cause you to strain, describe constipation.

Hydrate

To avoid discomfort, it is important to get enough liquids. Drinking eight glasses of water or other non-caffeinated liquids daily with go far in improving your stool. Water not only nourishes your body, it will help provide the moisture to keep stool from becoming hard, dry and bound.

Increase Dietary Fiber

Eating enough fiber helps elimination in two ways. Soluble fiber absorbs water and keeps stool soft so that it moves freely through your system. Insoluble fiber adds bulk to stool to help push it along the gastrointestinal tract. As it moves through, the insoluble fiber also cleans the inside of your digestive system by gently brushing the walls clean. To get adequate fiber, eat six to eight servings of fruits and vegetables daily. Foods high in fiber include most fruits and berries, greens, prunes, beans, broccoli, cauliflower, peas and peppers.

Exercise

Get some exercise. When you are constipated, it helps waste move through the large intestine and out of your body. Many experts recommend exercise with impact, such as jogging, because it will help jar any loose stuck stool. However, light exercises, such as walking, will also help.

Consume Omega-3 Oils

Fish oil is the best source of these essential fats. Eat salmon, tuna and other fatty fish or try fish oil caplets. Krill oil or flax seed oil caplets also contain Omega-3 oil. These provide you with a necessary nutrient, which also lubricates stool as it moves through your system.

Relaxation

If you are really tense or stressed, you make have difficulty with regular bowel movements. Reduce stress by exercising, meditating, or distracting yourself with a fun, engaging activity. This may be all it takes to help with constipation issues.

The inability to eliminate is uncomfortable. There is no need to suffer through it. If these tips don’t work, call Dr. Cofrancesco at GI North. Our offices serve patients in the Cumming area, as well as Roswell, Alpharetta, Johns Creek, Dawsonville, Canton and beyond.

© 2014 GI North Gastroenterology Services. All rights reserved.

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