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Chronic constipation affects 20 million Mexicans

In Mexico, approximately 20 million people suffer from chronic constipation, of these, the 50% use treatments laxatives, whether chemical or natural, without a prescription. Learn more about cHow does chronic constipation affect Mexicans, the foods that fight constipation, and how to treat it.

What is constipation

The constipation It is an inability to evacuate the intestinal contents, or the absence of stools, having to make an excessive effort or the sensation of incomplete evacuation, and is frequently associated with distention of the abdomen, accumulation of gases (meteorism) and even bad breath and tongue whitish (coated tongue).

It is a very common problem in Mexico that mainly affects older adults and women. East disorder it has a negative impact on people’s quality of life.

“Self-medication has the risk of accustoming the digestive system to depend on external factors to function properly. Some people who suffer from intestinal constipation are due to the fact that their digestive system becomes accustomed to the use of laxatives to stimulate defecation and thus begins a vicious cycle” , commented Dr. Francisco Javier Murillo, Clinical Immunologist.

Causes of constipation

It can have different causes, including diseases that cause constipation, social and emotional factors, association with medications or functional alterations of the digestive system, the specialist pointed out.

The female sex, aging, low consumption of fluids, fiber and low physical activity that has now been accentuated more by the restrictive measures that we have to follow due to the pandemic are risk factors for suffering functional constipation (FS).

Within the causes of constipation, there is also the diet low in natural fibers such as fruits and vegetables, plus it is generally exacerbated by sedentary lifestyle.

The lack of physical activity and a diet rich in ultra-processed productss, with a high content of sugars, saturated fats and refined flours, have greater risk factors for suffering from intestinal problems, pointed out the clinical nutritionist Iris Portillo.

One of the aspects that most affects subjects who suffer functional constipation it is the quality of life in all its dimensions when compared to healthy subjects. It has been shown, by direct interview with patients with FD, that hUp to 80% report that this condition affects their general health, in 55% it affects their diet, in 41% it interferes with appetite, 35% report sleep disturbances and up to 32% have their job performance affected. .

What if a person cannot have a bowel movement

The constipation It can be a symptom that alerts you to the existence of a disease, but in many cases it is due to a change in daily hygiene-dietary habits. In these cases, the patient may occasionally resort to the use of available laxative products such as docusate sodium, accompanied by advice to improve hygiene-dietary habits.

How many days without going to the bathroom is considered constipation

Ideally, no more than three consecutive days go by without going to the bathroom and a change in diet and permanent hydration should be followed.

How to fight constipation

Experts recommend physical exercise is widely recommended, as it can stimulate intestinal transit. There is clinical evidence that shows, emphasized the nutritionist, that exercise improves bowel movement and decreases symptoms of constipation.

The recommendations for functional constipation, with more clinical evidence, are the following:

Including vegetables and fruits, preferably raw and seasonal, in our daily diet and gradually, this will help us treat and prevent constipation problems, since they are rich in dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals.

Having adequate hydration, mainly simple water of 1.5-3 liters depends on our physical activity.

Consume whole grains such as wheat bran, pasta, rice, flaxseeds, chia, remember that for fiber to perform its function in the large intestine, it requires hydration (plain water).

The intake of lean meats, milk and low-fat cheeses, legumes, improves our digestion.

Reduce the consumption of alcohol and tobacco.

What foods cause constipation

Salt and sugars

Fried foods, processed foods, and high-fat meats



Dairy products

Fizzy soft drinks, juices including natural and packaged ones.

All these recommendations are important for the treatment and prevention of constipation. Nevertheless, In the event of any discomfort or sign of constipation, we recommend you go to a specialist and avoid self-medication.

Remember: only a doctor can determine discomfort you have and the treatment to follow. Watch your health!

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