In the month of Ramadan, all Muslims are required to fast. Of course, everyone wants worship to run smoothly. However, digestive problems sometimes interfere with our worship. One of the digestive problems that are often experienced during fasting is constipation. Constipation or constipation is a condition in which the digestive system is disturbed so that it is difficult to remove waste from the body because the stool becomes hard. So what is the cause constipation during fasting and how to relieve it? Let’s look at the explanation below.
Causes of Constipation During Fasting
Constipation constitutes health problems common to many people when fasting. Difficulty defecating (BAB) during fasting in most cases is caused by the large intestine absorbs too much water in the food found in the large intestine. If food moves slower in the digestive tract, the more water will be absorbed by the large intestine. This will make the stool hard and dry, the effect of which will reduce the frequency of bowel movements.
Basically, everyone has different bowel habits. However, it usually takes up to 3 days for the food consumed to be finally digested and absorbed by the body. So that, not defecating for more than 3 days can be considered constipation. After 3 days, the stool structure is harder so it will be difficult to pass. Well, here are some of the causes of constipation or difficulty defecating during fasting.
Lack of Fiber
When fasting, there will be changes in diet. Food intake is not considered properly, especially fiber. Though foods containing fiber are very beneficial. Where this food will make the ability of the intestinal peristalsis to increase, and the intestinal wall will expand. The effect is leftover food can be easily digested.
Inadequate Fluid Needs
It’s not just a lack of fiber, it’s a problem constipation during fasting It can also be caused by not getting enough of your body fluids or your body is not properly hydrated. Water has a role to dissolve food substances, and carry food waste into the body’s disposal system.
If the body is dehydrated due to a lack of fluid intake, it will be difficult for the leftovers to be carried into the body’s exhaust system. Therefore, it is very important to meet the needs of fluids to reduce risk constipation during fasting.
Disorders of the intestine can also cause a person to experience constipation, such as disorders of the muscle function in the intestines. Such as a tumor in the intestine, infection in the colon, scar tissue, abnormal narrowing that occurs in the colon (large intestine) and rectum. Where the problems that occur in the intestine will cause disruption of the digestive process.
Eating Too Much Dairy Products
Consuming too much milk can cause the digestive process to slow down because of the low fiber content. Therefore, consuming too much milk, as well as processed products such as ice cream and cheese, can make it difficult for you to defecate. This is even more so if it is not balanced with the consumption of vegetables and fruits during fasting.
Holding your Stool for Too Long
The habit of holding back bowel movements can cause constipation. Ignoring the urge to have a bowel movement will make the urge fade away until you won’t feel it anymore. Therefore, it’s best to avoid this bad habit. The longer you hold back the urge to defecate, the longer the stool will be in the intestines, as a result the stool will be dry and hard.
Apart from some of the causes above, there are several other things that can cause constipation, such as the following:
- Lack of physical activity or sports
- Using laxatives too often. This medicine will be able to weaken the intestinal muscles if its consumption is carried out regularly.
- Take antacids containing calcium or aluminum
How to Prevent and Overcome Constipation
So that your fast is not disturbed by constipation, here are some tips you can do to relieve it constipation during fasting.
Sufficient Fluid Needs
It is very important to meet the needs of fluids while you are fasting to help prevent and relieve constipation that you experience, make digestion smooth and prevent problems with dehydration or lack of fluids.
You must drink at least 2 liters of water or about 8 glasses a day. To fulfill this portion, try to adjust your drinking schedule, for example 2 glasses at dawn and 6 glasses after breaking the fast until before dawn.
Increase the consumption of fiber foods
You must eat foods that are high in fiber, especially at dawn. Besides being able to help prevent and relieve constipation problems, eating foods rich in fiber will also prevent hunger when you are fasting. Because foods containing fiber are digested more slowly, the effect is that the stomach will feel full longer.
You can get fiber from a variety of healthy foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains and nuts. In addition, foods such as bananas, apples, wheat, bread and broccoli can be an option for the sahur or iftar menu.
Doing light exercise
Doing physical activity, such as moderate exercise will help prevent and overcome the problem of constipation that you experience. By doing physical activity, the intestines will be stimulated to actively move so that the process of defecating will be easier. However, you should avoid doing strenuous exercise because it will be draining when you are fasting. You simply do light exercise such as yoga, walking or light stretching.
Avoid consumption of oily foods
Eating oily foods is still widely practiced when breaking the fast or sahur. Though these foods are more difficult to digest. Therefore, you should avoid consuming this type of food at dawn or at dawn. In addition, you should limit or avoid consumption of dairy products.
To help overcome constipation during fasting, you can also make several efforts like the following:
- Avoid drinks that contain caffeine, because these drinks can cause loss of fluids in the body, which will trigger thirst when fasting.
- Don’t hold back the urge to have a bowel movement
- You can try consuming warm fluids, especially at dawn. The combination of fiber and water will help the intestines remove
the remaining waste
The month of Ramadan is a month full of blessings. Of course, every Muslim wants to fast smoothly, and there are no disturbances, including constipation. Now, with the several ways to prevent and overcome constipation above, it is hoped that the constipation problem that you are experiencing can be resolved. However, if constipation does not improve, you should immediately consult a doctor.