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According to the latest data, about 20% of the Spanish population suffers from constipation (more than the European average), but be careful- we often think we have a problem when in reality we might be within a normal range.
What is considered constipation?
Bowel rhythms vary from person to person. Genetics, diet, and lifestyle all play a role in how often someone goes to the bathroom. For some, it’s every day, even several times a day- for others not.
Constipation is when you go to the bathroom less than 3 times a week. The normal range is going anywhere between 3 times a day to 3 times a week.
There are other characteristics of constipation as well:
- Difficulty in passing stool.
- Pain when passing stools.
- Hard, or dry stools.
- Feeling that you have not finished emptying your bowels.
Chronic constipation or a one-off?
Constipation is something that we all have to deal with at one time or another, particularly when traveling. That’s because our diet and habits usually get altered and this causes many people to have difficulty going to the bathroom. There may also be occasional problems when taking certain medications, changes in diet, menstrual cycle, during pregnancy or if you live a sedentary lifestyle.
The problem is when this is prolonged over time, we’re talking 3 months or more, then this is considered chronic.
Who is most affected?
- Women are 1.5 times more affected than men, particularly pregnant women.
- Senior citizens. The problem increases with age, after 60, the figures increase sharply.
- People who live a sedentary lifestyle are more likely to suffer as well.
- Intestinal Disorders: it seems that conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, dyspepsia, or gastroesophageal reflux are closely related to constipation.
- Laxative users: many take this thinking it helps to treat constipation, but the truth is that they solve little to nothing. In fact, it might be doing quite the opposite. Laxatives alter the microbiota and disturb the natural movements of the intestines.
- People with diets low in fiber and water: this month in the following posts we will see the importance of some foods to avoid constipation. But here’s a little preview: something as simple as having one serving of oatmeal a day can greatly improve this uncomfortable issue. Want to get a jump start on this? Click the banner for the most delicious Oat Powder in the world 😉