Talking about your bowel movements isn’t something people usually feel comfortable with. It’s personal, and a little embarrassing, but it’s also important to know that your body is acting as it should.
Finding out what’s ‘regular’ can be hard though, because everyone’s different. Bowel patterns vary from as often as three times a day to just once a week - this is normal.
What isn’t normal includes – discomfort in the bowel, stomach pain, bloating or headaches. If you’re feeling any of these symptoms then chances are you may be experiencing some form of constipation.
So what exactly is constipation?
Constipation is when bowel motions become infrequent, hard, dry, and difficult to pass. This can be painful and you could suffer from stomach cramps and headaches.
What causes irregularity?
It’s usually a balance of three main things that keeps you regular - fibre, fluid and exercise. A change in one of these areas could affect your regularity. Examples of common situations where this can happen are when you’re:
- not exercising very much (this could be after surgery)
- experiencing a change of diet or water (like when you are travelling)
- drinking less fluids
- pregnant or have recently had a baby
Some medications are also known to cause constipation, even non-prescription ones. If you’re taking any new medication, it’s a good idea to check with our pharmacist or your doctor to find out how it could affect you.
Keeping you and your bowel happy
Making the right changes to your lifestyle habits is the best and safest way to manage constipation. Here are some basic things you can do to beat constipation: