What causes con­sti­pa­tion?

Healthy Food Guide (Australia) - - FEATURES -

Your stools are mostly made up of fi­bre, so rapid changes in the amount of fi­bre you eat can vary the fre­quency and hard­ness of your stools.

You may ex­pe­ri­ence con­sti­pa­tion just from eat­ing more take­aways, or by sig­nif­i­cant changes to your diet such as go­ing veg­e­tar­ian or try­ing a gluten-free, pa­leo or low-carb diet. Go­ing on hol­i­days and eat­ing dif­fer­ent food can also cause con­sti­pa­tion.

Fi­bre draws water into your bowel to soften the waste prod­ucts. In­creas­ing the fi­bre you eat without drink­ing more water can cause your stools to har­den and be­come more dif­fi­cult to pass.

Stress is also a com­mon trig­ger for con­sti­pa­tion. Dur­ing times of anx­i­ety, blood flow is redi­rected away from your gut, which slows down di­ges­tion and some­times leads to con­sti­pa­tion.

You may also be­come con­sti­pated by sit­ting for long pe­ri­ods; or by tak­ing med­i­ca­tions, such as an­tide­pres­sants, di­uret­ics and anti-epilep­tics. Iron or cal­cium sup­ple­ments can have this ef­fect, too. Drink more, but only in the morn­ing to early af­ter­noon, to avoid vis­its to the bath­room dur­ing the night.

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