You often hear that it is better to have a bowel movement every day. But it is not at all unhealthy if you have to go to the toilet less often.
After all, every person has their own defecation pattern. Some people go three times a day. Others only go to the toilet three times a week. This is all normal as long as your stool is smooth.
But there are limits. If you go to the bathroom less than three times a week, you officially have constipation. You then have to squeeze hard to get the often hard and dry stool out. You can also get stomach cramps from all the stool that builds up in your colon and can hurt your defecation. And the longer the stool stays, the worse it gets. So no fun.
Top 5 causers
#1. A low-fiber diet: fiber is crucial for healthy bowel movements. Some stimulate the movement of the colon, others act as a kind of sponge so that they ensure a flexible stool. It is therefore important to eat enough fiber-rich products, ie lots of fruit, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. Meat, eggs, cheese and other dairy products do not contain fiber.
#2. Drinking too little: If you drink too little, your stools will become hard and dry. It is recommended to drink 1.5 liters of fluids every day.
#3. Little exercise: Exercise stimulates the movements of your gut. If you don’t move much, your colon can also move significantly slower! Make sure you exercise vigorously for at least half an hour every day. Three times ten minutes or twice fifteen minutes is also allowed.
#4. Ignoring urges; if you ignore urges and delay going to the toilet, the stool will stay in the colon longer than necessary. This can make it harder and drier, making it a lot harder next time.
#5. Certain medications can also cause constipation as a side effect. Well-known examples are painkillers, sleeping pills and sedatives. If you think your medications are the cause, discuss it with your doctor. Never stop taking any medications prescribed by your doctor on your own.
Irritable bowel syndrome
Constipation can also be a result of another disease or condition. For example, it also occurs as a complaint with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), which in turn may mean that you cannot tolerate certain fibers very well. Therefore, if complaints persist, contact your doctor.