Thursday, May 4, 2017

But of course Gut Health matters the Most

Indian Bloggers
" Anna he Poorna Bramha  " = Food equals entire Universe.
" Udar-bharan nohe , Janije yadnya-karma " = Eating is not just stomach-filling but a holistic way of rejuvenating mind; body with healthy food.
Freshly cooked, nutritious food is the fuel for us. It must be chewed properly in happy mood and clean surroundings. This is very important for our physical as well as mental health. Every religion / culture has its own way of saying a prayer of thanksgiving before eating food. 'Good Food boosts the Mood'.
Wow ... how rhythmic, how romantic! But ...the practical life is not so perfect, never so fantastic when we suffer from constipation. We are used to listening 'Health is Wealth', 'The way to man's heart is through stomach' etc. The reality is the way to all human-hearts, whether male or female, child or adult is through his / her stomach. What ? How ? Why ?.
Let's check out for ourselves.
The alarm-buzzer disturbs us, too early in the morning. The fact is the buzzer rings at the right time, which we ourselves had set up. We always feel tired, restless, irritated in the morning, if we had not gone to the toilet to powder our noses. Yes, that's the term stiff upper lips use for defecation. There's always a right time for right kind of food with right exercise to enjoy Healthy lifestyle. If we party till late night, stuff ourselves silly with Junk food, remain in the bed till noon without exercising, hurry up through our daily schedules then constipation is our number one companion. This number one companion blocks number two, I mean defecation.
Sanjesh ( name changed to protect his identity ) my office colleague once confessed quite sheepishly, 'Yesterday I ate so many burgers & brownies at Binni's birthday party... 'Kal itna upload kiya aur aaj subah kuch download nahi hua', I am feeling burdened like a sack full of hard disks'. Our immediate reactions were to scrunch our noses at his vulgar outburst in front of ladies and in anticipation of foul smell. We chastised him for using such politically incorrect language in front of ladies, that too in the office.
Since childhood, it is imprinted on our minds to not to utter the words like defecation, passing stool, excretion, bowel movement etc. Instead we are taught to use code words such as number two, poo etc. as if it's something to be ashamed of. Many times, we feel bloated, heavy, gassy i.e. constipated due to one or the other reason. We hardly ever talk about it directly to our family-members. Instead of going to the doctor and taking his / her consultation - medicine, we suffer silently. Even though we do know that chronic constipation may lead to serious diseases such as Piles, Hemorrhoids etc. 
It's high time, we initiate #ConstipationConversations to seek Doctor's consultation. I was recently part of a gut heath and constipation awareness outreach initiative during April.
The theme #ConstipationConversations opened with an some myth busting, followed by a panel discussion mostly overcoming the social issues & taboo around constipation
My key takeaways:
Gut is a common word for stomach, belly, abdomen, intestine, bowels, digestive system etc. A healthy gut is important to reduce the risk of a range of bowel conditions – from indigestion to constipation. Poor digestive health affects almost all. It’s necessary to take care of our guts’ health. Gut Health means normal nutritional status and effective absorption of food, water and minerals. Regular bowel movement, normal transit time and no abdominal pain, normal stool consistency and absence of nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation & bloating is a status of well being etc.
Here’s an eye opening  gut-Health Survey, notable points are:
1. 14% of people in urban India suffer from chronic constipation. The incidence of chronic constipation is over 10% worldwide. Chronic constipation is defined as an inability to pass stools more than three times a week, and for more than three months at a stretch.
2. Incidence of chronic constipation increases with age: 20% (2 out of 10) of people in the age group of 45 to 65 suffered from chronic constipation (versus 14% overall).
3. Chronic constipation is linked to food habits: Significantly higher frequency of eating non-vegetarian food, low water intake, snacking and eating fried, oily, spicy, junk and processed food were the leading causes for constipation.
4. People with chronic constipation are aware it impacts their lives, but are not concerned, mostly due to shyness and taboo to discuss the subject.
Constipation, a relatively common condition affects 1 in every 7 Indians. Yet most of us feel rather embarrassed to talk about it.
So here are the answers to some questions you may have on constipation : 
What exactly is constipation?
Those who have never had trouble with constipation, it may seem like a relatively minor condition. People who have suffered from constipation, often complain of anxiety, physical discomfort, poor appetite, depression, poor sexual satisfaction, stress and reduced confidence, all of which lead to a poorer quality of life. The good news is, a number of lifestyle changes can help make bowel habits regular and ease constipation. It can be something as simple as sitting correctly on the commode. Consult your doctor for advice on constipation.
People tend to describe constipation in different ways. Some relate it to how they feel after a bowel movement, while others define it in terms of how often they have bowel movements.
Doctors definition of constipation: constipation is a condition where a person has fewer than 3 bowel movements a week. Other important signs include: hard, dry stools that are difficult to pass, the need to strain and the feeling of an incomplete bowel movement.

How to prevent constipation:
  • Aware and alert: Be aware of your regular bowel routine and alert to any significant change.
  • Bowel routine: Empty your bowels at a fixed time every day.
  • Constipasana (the correct posture to sit on the western commode toilet) to sit right: Remember to use a footrest and to lean forward if you sit. Visit this site for more information
  • Drink sufficient fluids: Include 2 to 3 Liters of fluid in your daily diet.
  • Exercise regularly: physical activity helps the bowel muscles to contract during a bowel movement.
  • Fiber is a must: High- fiber foods including whole wheat grains, nuts, seeds, help to keep your bowel movements regular.
  • Go when you need to: Do not ignore the urge to empty your bowels
  • Most important, please go see a doctor at first sign of trouble in bowel movements.

Disclaimer :  ‘I attended a panel discussion on constipation awareness facilitated by Abbott India Limited. Any opinion expressed in this blog is my personal opinion and not the opinion of Abbott India Limited. Abbott India Limited does not assume any liability for the content of the blog. The blog post is not meant to be a replacement for a doctor consultation, nor is it a medical recommendation or prescription of treatment for people having constipation problems. Any reader of this blog suffering from constipation problems should specifically consult his/her doctor for the same and follow the suggested course of treatment’


Shaivi said...

Wow, that is such an informative post! Good bowel movement is such an integral part of our everyday life. Donno why people find it awkward to talk about it. Very well written Sujata!


Yes, Even we gained so much information about Gut health from #ConstiaptionConversations. Since that Panel discussion , I have started discussing it with my family & friends and suggesting them to seek medical consultation immediately.

Jyotirmoy Sarkar said...

So many infos and tips about constipation....very nice post.
Keeping bowel clear everyday really have good effects in health and mind.


Thanks Jyotirmay . We learned a lot of Medical information from the panel discussion about Constipation. This is so much Common and risky situation , still we avoid going to doctor. It's high time , WE should initiate #ConstipationConversations with our Family & friends.

Harshita Srivastava said...

A much needed post. Highly informative! It's important to listen to our body, understand that it's giving us signs or else we'll end up being trapped in diseases. Hope people realize this soon!


Hi Harshita , welcome to ' Spirit Of Mumbai '. You said it , we must understand our bodies, as our Gut Health is most important.

Anonymous said...

Your post is very informative and there are some things which were unknown. Thanks for providing with such an information. I have saved your post.