Why Staying at Home Causes Constipation—and How to Get Relief

Why Staying at Home Causes Constipation—and How to Get Relief

Fill up on fibre

In April 2020, the International Food Information Council released a survey that looked at eating and food shopping patterns during the coronavirus pandemic. A total of 27 percent of survey respondents said that they've been snacking more, and 15 percent said they're eating more or more often than usual. When it comes to constipation, the type of food you eat matters. For healthy bowel movements and constipation relief, you should make sure to get enough fibre in your diet.

Men should aim for about 38 grams of fibre a day, and women about 25 grams, according to the National Institutes of Health. But many people may find themselves coming up way short of this goal. Most people get only 14 grams of fibre each day.

Fibre adds bulk to stools making them easier to pass, Dr. Bulsiewicz says. Fruits and veggies are great sources of fibre, but in the time of coronavirus, it may be difficult to get fresh fruits and vegetables, and access may also be limited due to store closings and stay-at-home orders. Luckily, fruits and vegetables aren't the only sources of fibre. "There are high-fibre foods in your pantry, too, such as beans and whole grains," Dr. Bulsiewicz adds. Do your best to eat an assortment of fruits and vegetables, with an emphasis on insoluble fibre, Bauer suggests. "This type of fibre doesn't dissolve in water and makes your stool softer and easier to pass."

Foods with a lot of insoluble fibre help constipation by bulking up stools and speeding up bowel movements. Good sources of insoluble fibre are vegetables like carrots and celery, whole grains, and bran.

The other main type of fibre is soluble fibre, which dissolves in water and forms a gel-like substance.  Soluble fibre helps lower cholesterol and control blood sugar, and is found in foods like oats, peas, beans, apples, and citrus fruit. (Many fruits, veggies, and grains contain both types of fibre.)

The advice to eat more fibre holds true even if working-from-home is causing diarrhea, Dr. Bulsiewicz adds. Soluble fibre can absorb excess fluid in stool and slow down digestion, which can help reduce diarrhea symptoms.

Meat, dairy, sugar, and refined or processed foods (like white rice or white bread), have little or no fibre. In fact, limiting certain foods can also help prevent constipation.

Why Staying at Home Causes Constipation—and How to Get Relief, Source:https://www.besthealthmag.ca/best-eats/digestion/constipation-relief/