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Why Staying at Home Causes Constipation—and How to Get Relief

constipation relief

Quarantine constipation

If you’re like many people, you’ve spent the last few months getting the hang of working or taking classes at homeor just spending way more time at home than usual. You may be meeting deadlines, sharing thoughts, and socializing on Zoom calls, but that’s not to say all is well. You may be having more tummy troubles, including constipation, since you started staying at home due to the coronavirus pandemic and shelter-in-place orders.Constipation affects at least 15 to 30 percent of Canadians, according to the Canadian Society of Intestinal Research. And now, “with most of us spending significantly more time at home, it’s no surprise that ‘quarantine constipation’ has become so common,” says New York-based registered dietitian and health expert Joy Bauer, author of several books, including Joy Bauer’s Superfood!: 150 Recipes for Eternal YouthConstipation occurs when your stool moves too slowly through your digestive tract. When this happens, too much water is absorbed from your stool, and it becomes hard, dry, and difficult to pass, and you have fewer bowel movements.There’s no one-size-fits-all definition for constipation. Although many people think you should have a bowel movement daily, you can actually poop anywhere from three times a day to three times a week and it would still be considered normal. It’s more about what’s normal or abnormal for you. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases defines constipation as having fewer than three bowel movements a week and passing stools that are hard, dry, or lumpy and being left with the feeling that not all the stool has passed.There are several lifestyle and medical factorslike a lack of exercise, dehydration, medications, and health conditionsthat can increase the risk of constipation.

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