From the day my daughter Piper was born, she had problems pooping. She also had a hard time gaining weight and was diagnosed with reflux. She was given supplemental nutrition and treated for the reflux, but she remained chronically constipated. When she did have a bowel movement, it was huge (like softball sized), it would hurt her terribly and she would bleed.
If you are feeling bloated, gassy or constipated, don’t despair. There are simple things you can do to diminish and eliminate symptoms. Being aware of foods and behaviors that cause and worsen digestive tract disturbances is a great first step. Read on for some simple solutions to your gastro woes.
Stop swallowing air
Unfortunately, there isn’t a magic medicine to make gas dissolve into thin air (pun intended). But you can easily change behaviors that unknowingly produce gas. Any time you consciously or unconsciously swallow air—by doing things like chewing gum, smoking, drinking through a straw and eating quickly—you may increase gas within your GI tract.
Feeling bloated and blocked can happen during times of stress, frequent travel or when we aren’t eating well, skipping sleep or aren’t exercising enough. Constipation is common.
Whether constipation is occasional, or happens over an extended period of time – not just for a few days but for periods of weeks to months – there are ways to find relief.
Start with simple solutions
If you have mild, intermittent constipation, the first line of defense is water, exercise and fiber. Water keeps stool soft and regular vigorous exercise accelerates movement of stool through the colon. Even though people with constipation typically drink the same amount of water and eat as much fiber as those without constipation, more fiber from supplements such as psyllium or ispaghula husk can help. If you’re constipated, aim for a total daily fiber intake of 20-25 grams. Continue reading