29 November 2008

More Than 30 Million Filipinos Are Constipated

Are you constipated?

A week does not pass when a patient or two will consult complaining of constipation. In the Philippines, it is said that 37 percent of the population suffer from constipation. That's more than 33 million constipated Filipinos out there, if we are to consider a total population of 90 million as of 2008.

Officially, you are classified as 'constipated' when you have any two of the following criteria over a period of 3 months or 12 weeks:

Most of those constipated are the elderly. But these days, I notice more and more young people who complain of decreased and difficult bowel movements.

Some tips to avoid constipation:
  1. Drink more water.
  2. Eat more fiber-rich foods --- broccoli, spinach, green beans, wheat bread, guavas, avocados, oatmeal, brown rice, whole wheat spaghetti or macaroni, shredded coconuts, etc.
  3. Exercise! - move around, walk continuously at least 30 minutes daily, run, and climb stairs instead of using the elevator especially if your office or room is just a few floors from the ground floor.
  4. Consult your doctor - if you have done the nos. 1-3 above and you're still constipated, you might need your doctor to identify any metabolic, endocrine, neurologic, psychiatric, or anatomic pathology that might be causing the constipation.
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