In medical college, during community medicine classes, we once had a discussion about the ideal location for a toilet.This discussion often made us grimace.After one such class, one of, my friends said
“Amrita you haven’t used a toilet in rural India, how would you know why this is such an important topic!.”
The Gods were listening.I married my best friend from medical college who by God’s grace came from a small village in West Bengal.All things being equal, God helps us get the lessons we need.My in laws place was much better than many in the village.But no running water!Plus the toilet was outside the actual home, even though in the courtyard!
Imagine me newly wed, born and city-bred throughout, looking with shocked silence at this facility.The problem was exactly what Vidya Balan talks about in the famous ad.How in heaven’s name, is the new bride supposed to do her morning loo visit, in front of all the guests?
Luckily for me, my hubby understood my silent torment and stood guard in front of the loo.
But the result from that and later visits was always constipation.
The anxiety, stress is so bad that you don’t want to drink water or any other thing which will make you visit the loo.
But I was lucky.I know women who suffer so badly, they end up getting hemorrhoids, fissures and worse.These are step sisters of constipation.The harder your poop is the worse it will be.One in seven Indians have constipation and suffer silently.
Statistics show women more than men suffer from constipation.The situation becomes a bigger problem with advancing age. Constipation in India, has less to do with biology and more to do with sociology.
Women just can’t talk about it, till it becomes bad.They suffer from chronic irritation, anger, frustration and all the spectrum of diseases that constipation brings.
I know women who spend more than 2 hours in the loo and freak out if they have to travel!Travel being part of many jobs makes matters worse.
Since we are talking about breaking the stigma, I want to give a big shout out to the Government’s initiative of building toilets in rural India.Believe me, we need it.
Also all along the national highways for women travelers, we need hygienic safe toilets with proper security.Who can poop in peace when you afraid of you life right?.
Even in villages, the toilet needs to be safely inside the home with running water, otherwise, the purpose doesn’t get served.
How to break the vicious cycle?
Talk about any problem you are having early.
People have different pooping habits.Once a day is a norm, but even twice is not uncommon.According to the definition, some people go 3 times a day, and some 3 times a week.Anything less than 3 times is bad and cause for worry.Up to 3 times a day, and some 3 times a week.Anything less than 3 times a day is bad and cause for worry. #HWB guess what I am talking about Click To Tweet
What’s bad is when it’s not a daily habit and you ignore nature’s call and carry on with your other important work.
Believe me when I say this
‘ A happy pooper is a happy person.”
Your Gastrointestinal tract has a nervous system.It interacts with your brain.When you miss pooping, this sends stress signals to your brain and makes you irritable.How weird is that?
Not really.Only if you knew about the pooping habits of the cranky old man in the corner shop!Remember Piku?Get the drift.When it comes to #Constipation conversations you can’t ignore habits, diet, and lifestyle.
Encourage children to have daily pooping habits.When they need to go , they should go’.Otherwise, they don’t understand at the right time and wrong time.
Drink water: Fluids , fruits, and probiotics are the 3 pillars of your diet.
The best fluid to get those toxins flushed out of your body.At Least 4 liters and up to 6 liters if it’s very hot!The single biggest change comes with this free drink that God has given.Fuids include water, juice and soups, but not tea, coffee or cold drinks.the latter three can make it worse.
Include plenty of fruits and veggies in your diet to get a good amount of fibers.
Health tip for a happy you:
Remember 3 things for good loo habits: Fluid, Fruit, and probiotics.
3 Fruits which make your bowels happy are Green Kiwi, banana, and prunes.
Apples with peel, berries, guava, all have good fiber content.Nuts(walnut and almond are best), seeds like flaxseed should all be included in a balanced diet.
Veggies good for you in this department: Most green leafy vegetables, beans, sweet potato, have a good amount of fiber.
- Don’t stress it.Chronic stress can make constipation worse and constipation makes you stress.vicious cycle!
- Never ignore the urge!If you are afraid of hygiene issues at the workplace, carry tissues and wet wipes to make it easier.
Just don’t torture the rest of you because you didn’t poop!
- Exercise every day .not once in a blue moon and not 3 times a week .everyday.Walk for 20 to 40 minutes every day, lift weights, do yoga, skipping ropes pilates. rock climbing, whatever, just get moving.
If you have never had constipation, this might look like too much worry.But did you know a blocked bowel can give rise to serious medical conditions?
It is a big cause of depression, anxiety, poor sexual satisfaction, unhappy marital life, social awkwardness and reduced self-confidence.
But don’t worry, there’s help.The power is in your hand.If you take care of the 3Fs (Fluid, fiber fear), probiotics and exercise, things will get better.
Do you have any tips for a healthy bowel?
#Disclaimer ‘I attended a panel discussion on constipation awareness facilitated by Abbott India Limited. Any opinion expressed on this blog is my personal opinion and not the opinion of Abbott India Limited. Abbott India Limited does not assume any liability for the content of the blog. The blog post is not meant to be a replacement for a doctor consultation, nor is it a medical recommendation or prescription of treatment for people having constipation problems. Any reader of this blog suffering from constipation problems should specifically consult his/her doctor for the same and follow the suggested course of treatment’