Constipation is defined as the difficult passage and infrequent (fewer than three) bowel movements per week. Constipation is another possible cause of bladder control problems. When the rectum is full of stool, it may disturb the bladder and cause incontinence or the sensation of the urgency and frequency. Because constipation may be caused by medications you are taking for other conditions, changes in bowel habits should always be reported to your physician. If you have a history of constipation or have recently become constipated discuss this with your physician.
Constipation may be the result of several different factors including
Limited fluid intake
Imbalances in the diet (too much sugar or animal fat)
Medications, particularly pain medicines, antidepressants, iron supplements and tranquilizers
Neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s, stroke, multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injuries
Most people in Western society need more bulk in their diet in the form of high fibers, fiber additives or other bulking agents sold at drug stores. You should discuss your fiber needs with your physician, pharmacist or nutritionist. Typical dietary recommendations for fiber are between 25-35 grams per day. When adding fiber to your diet it is important to remember to drink plenty of fluids.
Recipe for Bowel Regularity
This recipe is commonly suggested to increase dietary fiber. You may experience a bloated feeling and have gas when adding fiber to your diet but this should pass within a few weeks. It is important to avoid regular use of laxative and enemas as they decrease the bowel’s ability to function. As with any new added regimen consult your Doctor prior to adding this recipe to your diet. Mix together the following:
1 Cup Applesauce
1 Cup Oat bran or unprocessed wheat bran
¾ Cup Prune juice
Begin with 1-2 TBs. each evening mixed with or followed by one 6-8 oz cup of water or juice. This should help soften and regulate your bowel movements within 2 weeks. If no change occurs, slowly increase serving to 3-4 Tbs.
This may be stored in your refrigerator or your freezer. One to two tablespoon servings may be frozen in section ice cube trays or in foam plastic egg cartons and thawed as needed.
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