Constipation

It is not coming out? Don't panic.


Constipation is having less than 3 stools per week that are hard, dry, difficult or painful to pass or

having a feeling that you still have stools after defecation (1). Definitions vary and it may be normal for someone to have 3 or fewer bowel movements per week. This article outlines what we can try to do today to remedy this problem.


Nutrition

It is important to have a balanced diet to have a good regularity of bowel movements. According to the Government of Canada, a balanced diet is ½ plate (1 to 2 cups) of fruits and vegetables, ¼ plate of protein (about 2 eggs or 75 g of meat or ¾ cup of legumes, etc. ) and 1/4 plate of whole grain cereal products (about ½-1 cup of rice or 1 cup of pasta, etc.) (2). Prioritize legumes as a source of protein since they are rich in fiber.


If that's not enough, consider adding more insoluble fibers to your diet. They will help bulk up your stools.


Fiber requirements: 25 to 38 g per day. (3)


Sources of fibre: fruits and vegetables with peels (try dates, prunes, raisins and apples), whole grain foods (breads, pastas and cereals such as all-bran, all-bran buds fiber One) and legumes (4).


Hydration

If you don't drink enough, you risk suffering from constipation.


Here are some fluid needs for a healthy and sedentary person:

Male 19 years and older: 3 L per day

Women 19 and over: 2.2 L per day, Pregnancy: 2.3 L and over Breastfeeding: About 3.1 L and over (5)


Tips for staying well hydrated

  • Outside, in hot weather, stay in the shade;

  • If it's too hot, stay indoors;

  • Always carry a bottle of water with you on outings or at work;

  • If you sweat a lot, take drinks with electrolytes;

  • Flavor your water with lemon juice, frozen berries and mint;

  • Do not wait to be thirsty to drink;

  • Set a SMART goal. Example, drink 2 bottles of water of 700-800 ml per day;

  • Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables ;) (Watermelon, cantaloupes, oranges, peaches, cucumbers, celery, tomatoes, etc.).


Physical activity

To improve bowel regularity, we can increase our level of physical activity. Prioritize aerobic activities. If you are sedentary, walking at different times during the day can help. If you are already active, prioritize more intense physical activities such as running, swimming or dancing (6).


If your constipation persists after changing your diet and or level of physical activity, talk to a healthcare professional.

Karine Drouin RD


 

References

  1. National Institutes of Health. (n.d.). Constipation. Retrouvé le 22 mars 2022 en ligne au https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/constipation

  2. Gouvernement du Canada. (Février, 2022). Guide alimentaire canadien. Retrouvé le 22 mars 2022 en ligne au https://guide-alimentaire.canada.ca/fr/

  3. Les diététistes du Canada. (2016).Recommandations sur la saine alimentation pour augmenter votre apport en fibres. Practice Evidenced-Based Nutrition (PEN). Retrouvé le 22 mars 2022 en ligne sur PEN.

  4. Johns Hopkins Medicine, (n.d.). Constipation. Retrouvé le 22 mars 2022 en ligne sur https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/constipation

  5. Les diététistes du Canada. (2017). Lignes directrices pour rester hydraté. Practice Evidenced-Based Nutrition (PEN). Retrouvé le 22 mars 2022 en ligne sur PEN.

  6. Robinson, J. (2020). Exercise to Ease Constipation. Retrouvé le 22 mars 2022 en ligne au https://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/exercise-curing-constipation-via-movement

Related Posts

See All