Constipation is a common problem for gut health, but there are lots of simple remedies to try.
New light therapy treatment for constipation
A new study has found that blue light therapy could actually work to treat constipation better than laxatives. Researchers in Australia and America discovered that introducing certain proteins into the gut can make it sensitive to light. Shining a blue light into the colon can then stimulate bowel movements.
What is constipation?
Constipation is a common condition that means your bowel movements or infrequent or hard to pass.
What happens when you are constipated?
You might feel bloated, have stomach pain, feel sick or feel like you haven’t completed a bowel movement.
What are the symptoms of constipation?
If you’re finding it hard to poo, or you’re going to the toilet less often than usual, you may be constipated. You ought to be pooing at least three times a week. Also if your stool is hard and dry or larger than usual.
Can constipation be serious?
While it’s a common problem, prolonged constipated can lead to complications such as haemorrhoids, anal fissures or fecal impaction.
What is fecal impaction?
Fecal impaction can be caused by constipation, and is essentially a build up of poo in your rectum. If you’ve had a long period of constipation followed by a bout of diarrhoea, this could be a symptom. There are several treatments available via your GP.
What does it mean when you are constipated?
There are different reasons why you might suffer from constipation. It could be a side effect from medication or a medical condition – if you suspect that might be the case, it’s worth speaking to you GP. It can also be common during pregnancy.
Otherwise it could be:
- You’re not eating enough fibre
- Not drinking enough water
- Not exercising enough
- Changing your diet or daily routine
- Stress, anxiety or depression
- Ignoring your need to go to the toilet
What helps constipation fast?
Speak to your pharmacist for a suitable laxative, which work in the short term.
Longer term, altering your diet to include more fibre, plenty of water and avoiding alcohol can help. Go for a walk or even a run to help get things moving.
In future, don’t delay when you need to poo, and give yourself plenty of time so you aren’t rushed. You could try lifting up your feet when you’re on the toilet to make things easier.
When should you see a doctor for constipation?
If you’ve taken treatment and haven’t seen any improvement, are regularly constipated or bloated, have unexpectedly lost weight, feel tired all the time or have blood in your poo.
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