When a friend asks you how you are, you probably don’t hit them with stories about how much time you’ve been spending on the toilet lately. Not in Canada; we’re too polite for that.
But maybe we should put manners aside for a minute, because constipation is a historically uncomfortable topic that affects more people than you think.
It’s one of the common health challenges you face as you get older. In fact, 46% of Canadians have experienced constipation within the last 12 months.
So get ready: We’re doing this for your own good.
Why it happens
There are a number of factors that can cause constipation, including travel (if you’ve ever wondered why your digestion seems off when you’re on vacation, that’s why), changes in diet, exercise, or fluid intake. Even if you treat your colon like a temple and eat tons of fibre, the condition can still creep up on you in a big way.
Additionally, disease, disability, hospital stays, and medicine – including prescription and over-the-counter meds — can all cause constipation.
The not-so-pretty facts
When you’re constipated, you know it. You’ll likely experience symptoms like infrequent, irregular, or incomplete bowel movements. You might feel discomfort or strain during bowel movements, or you could have excessive gas or bloating. And you may also just not feel like yourself.
More than half of Canadians say that if they were suffering from constipation they would see their doctor (54%), talk to their partner about their bowel habits (51%), and one-in-ten (11%) have avoided going out because of constipation.
So you heard it here: Half of all couples are talking about their bowel movements. And they say romance is dead.
What you can do about it
Firstly, if you’re in discomfort and constipation is affecting your life, you’ll probably want to talk to someone about it. And unlike our well-mannered stereotype would suggest, a recent survey by Senokot found that 75% of Canadians say they are comfortable talking about constipation.
Your gut health is key to your overall health. And with more and more people developing stomach issues like food sensitivities, it’s important to separate fact from fiction when it comes to digestion.
If you’re looking for a natural remedy to help get things moving (sorry), you can try Senokot tablets. They’re made from natural senna, a plant that’s been around for over 3,500 years helping to relieve your constipation. The tablets work overnight to give you gentle relief in the morning as the direct action on the large intestine is generally felt six to 12 hours after ingesting.
Most Canadians (86%) prefer to relieve conditions without prescription meds, so a gentle laxative might work for you if lifestyle changes don’t.
Now go talk to your friends and loved ones about constipation! Just don’t do it while sharing a meal.