Constipation is a painful and frustrating condition that few people are comfortable talking about. Almost everyone experiences constipation at some time in his or her life and it is not serious in many cases. Yet, as common as it is, it has been surrounded by a lot of myths that make it more difficult for people to fully understand.
Here are some constipation myths as shared in a feature on Boots WebMD.
Daily Bowel Movement. While it is common for many to have bowel movement every day, this is not the case for all. One is considered constipated if your bowel movement is less often or cause more strain than usual. Some people go 3 times a day; others go 3 times a week. This will be the ‘normal’ upon which constipation or diarrhea (loose bowel movements) can be referred.
Lack of Fiber. Most people think that constipation only means one needs more fiber in the body. While fiber can help relieve constipation, the condition can be caused by stroke, diabetes, thyroid problems or Parkinson’s disease. It can also signal bowel cancer or autoimmune disease.
Coffee. Others turn to coffee to stimulate the muscles in the digestive system to contract and thus cause a bowel movement. Caffeine, however, is a diuretic and as such, encourages liquid to be drawn out of stools. This makes the stool harder to pass.
People who are regularly constipated may have considered undergoing colon irrigation or colon cleansing. It is advised to first seek medical advice as the procedure can damage the colon and even lead to other issues.