Improve Bowel Function

The bowel is considered to be a part of the digestive or gastrointestinal system. It is designed to help the body absorb nutrients and fluids from the foods we eat and drink. After taking out everything the body needs, the bowel then expels the leftover waste.

Constipation or irregularity, is a condition of the digestive system where a person (or animal) experiences hard feces that are difficult to egest; it may be extremely painful, and in severe cases (fecal impaction) lead to symptoms of bowel obstruction.

In general, though, you’re probably experiencing constipation if you pass hard and dry stools less than three times a week. In some cases, constipation also may make you feel bloated or sluggish or experience discomfort or pain.One out of six adults in developed countries suffers from IBS, a chronic condition marked by abdominal pain and disturbed bowel function.

Constipation may involve pain during the passage of a bowel movement, inability to pass a bowel movement after straining or pushing for more than 10 minutes, or no bowel movements after more than 3 days. Infants who are still exclusively breastfed may go 7 days without a stool.

About 16-37% of school-aged kids are affected by constipation. Constipation with overflow soiling affects at least 4% of preschool kids and 1-2% of school-aged kids. In school-aged kids, encopresis is most likely to affect boys.Fortunately, a few common-sense lifestyle changes, including getting more exercise, eating high-fiber foods and drinking plenty of water, can go a long way toward preventing or alleviating constipation.

The term fiber refers to carbohydrates that cannot be digested. Fiber is found in the plants we eat for food — fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes. Sometimes, a distinction is made between soluble fiber and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber partially dissolves in water and has been shown to lower cholesterol. Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water, but that’s why it helps with constipation. It’s important to include both kinds of fiber as part of a healthy diet.

Increases in fluid intake and physical activity do not appear to relieve chronic constipation, except in patients who are dehydrated.

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