About Me

Note from Maria: I am a Registered Dietitian with a Master of Public Health Degree in Nutrition from UNC at Chapel Hill. I have a passion for helping people with nutrition & wellness, especially moms. Women & moms provide care for everyone else often at the expense of considering their own needs. I hope to provide good resources to you to help you make nutrition and wellness a priority.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Constipation.....nothing to laugh at!

Ok, so most people don't like to talk about poop (and don't worry, I can't tell who reads my posts). The first thing I learned when volunteering in the hospital is how much patients are eager to discuss their bowels. When I volunteered and I wasn't even asking about this, they would tell me all about it......some need to poop, some need to stop pooping, some can't go home until they poop, etc. Now I actually ask each patient about this, so to me talking about regularity is literally an everyday conversation. The average American diet is low on fiber and constipation is a real problem for a lot of people. This can get worse when you are pregnant because the bowels slow down. If you are finding you are constipated, here are some suggestions to get yourself moving:
  • Drink lots of water! You can also drink prune juice, pear nectar or apricot nectar. 
  • Eat foods high in fiber including:
    • Fruit & vegetables with edible peels (avoid white potatoes)
    • Dried fruit such as prunes, apricots or raisins
    • Beans & legumes
    • Whole grains such as whole wheat, oats, popcorn, barley & whole grain crackers
    • Whole grain cereals & foods w/ 5+grams of fiber/serving
  • Exercise helps to keep your bowels moving, yet one more good reason to engage in regular physical activity. 
  • Go when you have to go!! The large intestine removes water from the poop before it is excreted. The longer you hold it, the more water is removed and the harder the poop becomes - not good!
  • Be careful with over the counter supplements! Ask your doc before taking these regularly to relieve constipation.
  • Do not take soluble fiber as a supplement. This is what we give people in the hospital with diarrhea. This is counter-intuitive, but this sort of acts like a gel that holds your poop together...so you do not need to supplement with this if you are constipated. 
If you are having trouble with constipation after trying all of these things, you should consult your doc for medical advice. 

No comments:

Post a Comment