When you can’t go to the toilet, with three or fewer bowel movements a week, this is called constipation. It is caused by the colon absorbing too much water from the waste products, which dries out the waste matter, making it hard and very difficult for the body to push it out. Straining to pass poo is not good for anyone. It can cause skin tears in the delicate tissue around the anus, which sting or worse still, haemorrhoids. Pushing out hard faeces is very painful as your muscle movements become very slow. You may also experience abdominal pain and bloating. Not nice and extremely uncomfortable. And guess what? – it can be avoided, as constipation is a symptom of issues within your body.
Because of the current Covid-19 crisis, leading politicians to instil severe lockdowns; let’s look at the first cause in depth.
No doubt you would agree that if you are confined to your home, it follows that you will become a bit of a couch potato. What else is there to do? People in Victoria were only allowed out for 1 hour per day, making many compare it to 23-hour imprisonment. Netflix and Foxtel become the security blanket and even if you are given that one hour to exercise, who can be bothered? And the more we laze about, the lazier we become. There is no motivation to cook and easy pizza-like food will be eaten. Quick, easy food.
And it is this mandatory long period of inactivity that curls your colon into knots, leaving you open to experience constipation. Because of this required isolation, it is doubly important to be aware of your mental and physical well-being. The imposition of liberty restriction takes a toll. Many will experience an acute distress order and this stress tightens your inner system.
Quarantined people will experience boredom from isolation. Studies show other issues, such as anxiety, irritability, insomnia, sadness, financial worry, frustration and indecisiveness. All of these symptoms can slow down your inner workings. It is easy to slide into overindulging in alcohol and food, while you try to curb all those fearful feelings stemmed from confusion over the various public health messages, because of poor government coordination.
What can you do?
- You must take breaks from sitting down all the time. Joint pain can easily creep up on you.
- Stay active. Use your 1-hour escape from the house wisely. Some light intensity movement, such as walking or stretching, will improve blood circulation and muscle activity.
- Eat more high-fibre foods, such as fresh vegetables, fruits (especially prunes), high-quality bread and bran cereals. Dried apricots are high in fibre.
- Up your fluid intake to soften bowel movements – no, alcohol doesn’t count! Herbal teas, prune juice and lots of water. Try adding lemon juice to your glass of water, as this will help break down food in your gut.
- Cut down on the burger and chips; any food with high-fat content. It is difficult for the body to process fat through the colon.
- A healthy diet, supplemented with turmeric powder sprinkled in your dishes, is central to supporting your immune system. Good nutrition will regulate your bowels. What we eat and drink can affect our body’s ability to fight infections and viruses. So best to get rid of all toxins from your body through your waste.
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