Everyones regular or transit time is different. Anywhere from 3 times a day to 3 times a week can be normal.
The important thing is to notice when there is a change in the frequency and comfort of your bowel movements – this may indicate that you are suffering from constipation.
Constipation can also be caused by some medicines. Some common medicines that can cause constipation include antacids (with aluminium and calcium), diuretics (water tablets), some blood pressure treatments and opioid medicines.
Constipation is also often associated with other health conditions or problems such as diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Pregnancy and aging can also trigger constipation episodes.
Continually ignoring your body’s signals to you about needing to go to the toilet can also lead to discomfort with bowel motions.
There are, however, some simple things you can do to help avoid or reduce episodes of constipation:
- Try to increase your vegetable and fruit intake for the fibre content.
- Five servings a day is the recommendation. You can also increase the fibre in your diet by eating more whole grain products such as wholegrain bread and wholegrain pasta.
- Drink plenty of fluids, especially water. It helps the whole digestive process and avoids hard stools.
- Avoid as much as you can high-fat, high-sugar foods.
- Fast foods are often high in fat and sugar.
- Stay active, exercise helps keep the whole digestive process moving along.
- Investigate the use of a dietary supplement.