We've already talked about how we need to start having conversations around constipation if we want to nip it in the bud. This is the study that got us to sit up and take notice. Here are a few things about constipation in India that you should know.
Where You Live Matters
One interesting revelation of this study was that a greater percentage of urban Indians suffered from chronic constipation than their rural counterparts. The Abbott survey found that urban Indians' poor eating habits, like snacking on oily and spicy food and relying too much on junk and processed foods, and sedentary lifestyles contributed to their chronic constipation. Rural Indians, by contrast, routinely eat earthy, home-cooked, healthy foods and are physically more active.
Middle-Aged Men Typically Have it Worst
The six-city survey also showed that men are much more likely to be constipated than women. Also, the older you get, the more likely you are to develop chronic constipation (20 percent of 45- to 65-year-olds, versus 14 percent of the total population with constipation).
Home Remedies May Not Be the Best Ones
This health problem was worsened by the highly prevalent Indian trend of home-remedying minor health issues. While these remedies are often helpful and on-target for providing short-term relief, a medical opinion and treatment are highly recommended for persistent constipation. It is also critical to remember that the overuse of laxatives, a commonly used home-remedy, can worsen your constipation instead of resolving it.
Don't Wait for it to Get Worse
For most of us, constipation isn't a major issue. In fact, we prefer to sweep this under the carpet and load up on laxatives when the problem doesn't subside.
Irrespective of your dietary habits, if you're not passing stool at least thrice a week and if this irregularity persists beyond three months, you may have chronic constipation. Other indicators of constipation include straining hard to pass stool, feeling pain while doing so, and have a feeling of incomplete evacuation or bowel obstruction.
Timely medical intervention for chronic constipation is important not only to make your bowel movement smooth, but also because chronic constipation brings with it several other health risks. As the Abbott study outlines, untreated constipation puts you at risk of anal fissures, haemorrhoids or piles. The psychological impact of chronic constipation is also commonly unrecognised and ignored. A person who has chronic, unhealthy bowel movement is bound to be ill-tempered, moody, restless and tired, partly because this condition disturbs a person's sleep and rest patterns. All in all, chronic constipation significantly affects a person's daily routine and reduces the quality of life.
Learn How to Get Things Moving
The potentially dangerous results of ignoring chronic constipation reinforce how important it is to have this condition medically assessed and sorted. It's particularly important for urban Indians to understand what changes they need to make in their lives and how to stay healthy. The most effective and basic way of preventing constipation involves a change in diet combined with lifestyle changes, like getting more active and avoiding alcohol and smoking. Including more fresh, fibre-rich foods, drinking more water, and limiting oily, spicy snacks is crucial. Indian festivals and family gatherings are always marked by scrumptious spreads of decadent foods, with meals being the focal point of all celebrations. Against this background of frequent, free-flowing delicacies and a hectic lifestyle that shapes the life of a productive-age urban Indian population, the resulting stress and unhealthy diet lead to chronic digestive issues.
It can't be said enough: The taboo surrounding constipation needs to be cast aside to identify this issue on time. If you think you might have chronic constipation, get in touch with your physician without hesitation and let him or her guide you about how to stay healthy.
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