EAT WELL , WORK OUT TO BEAT CONSTIPATION
Software Professionals, Police Officers, Bankers and Teachers constitute 60 % of the patients suffering from constipation and piles in Pune. Rest 40 % include city’s graying population leading sedentary lifestyle, finds the study conducted by a city-based expert Proctologist. Eating more whole grains, fruits and vegetables, drinking plenty of water and physical exercise can prevent Constipation, say experts.
"Two years back we would diagnose around 30 to 40 patients per month suffering from constipation and Grade 1 and 2 Piles and now the number has increased to 300 new cases per month. These patients are strictly kept on medicine and high fiber diet regimen," said colo- proctosurgeon Ashwin Porwal who has his consulting Proctology Clinic at Poona Hospital and Research Centre, Jehangir Hospital & Inamdar Hospital.
A huge percent of the city’s population is facing Constipation, Piles and other stomach related problems in which 7 percent are from the young age group. "Poor diet, lack of exercise, smoking, and excess alcohol, and in the late 2000s even poor sleep may contribute to these illnesses or be their primary cause," said Dr. Paresh Gandhi, Consultant Surgeon.
Sharing the view, Gastro-Enterologist Harshal Gadhikar said, "The incidence of constipation is 10 to 15 patients per 1,000 people in city’s population. Poor eating habits and sedentary lifestyle are prominently the reasons for Constipation among them."
According to our study, Software Professionals, Police Officers, Bankers and Teachers constitute 60 % of the patients suffering from constipation and piles in Pune,Dr. Porwal said.
"Apart from leading a sedentary lifestyle and lack of physical activity, Software Professionals are more vulnerable to junk food and aerated softdrinks. Junk food are high in carbohydrates and lack essential fibers which make them susceptible to Constipation,"Dr. Porwal said.
Elaborating Dr.Porwal said, "Aerated soft drinks are instant source of energy which again keep them deprived of high fiber diet which actually plays a vital role by providing energy at slow and steady rate, helping in proper digestion. Constipation is a root cause of many lifestyle diseases. That’s why we see Software Professional more prone to diseases like Piles, Obesity, Hypertension and Diabetes."
As for Bankers, they have regular food habits but they sit in one place for hours together.
"Whenever a person sits in one place, blood flowing towards the heart from legs (venous return) gets affected. This blood remains in the veins for long time in areas like calf muscles and legs leading to dilation of blood vessels causing varicose veins. Similarly, veins remain dilated for long also in the bottom region causing Piles. The low physical activity leads to decreased basal metabolic rate (BMR) which eventually leads to Constipation," Dr.Porwal said
Asked why the problem of Constipation and Piles is being seen among Police when they lead a very active life, Dr.Porwal said, "In case of Police, irregular eating habits is the cause for Constipation. It has been observed that Police have very erratic lunch hours and dinner is also taken usually late night and they go to sleep immediately after that. The BMR is on lower side during night. That explains why constipation is quite common in them."
Besides, Police have to stand for long hours, hence they also develop Piles at an early age. "Like sitting, standing for long hours also affects blood circulation from legs to the heart leading to more dilation of the vessels in legs and bottom region causing Piles in them," Dr. Porwal said.
Teachers have good eating habits. But Teachers in India prefer to stand while teaching and the habits itself makes them vulnerable to develop piles.
"For Constipation, Teachers develop it due to physical inactivity. Since the level of awareness about health is high among teachers, they see a doctor more often that also be the contributing factor for high prevalence in them," Dr. Porwal said.
Furred tongue, stale breath, sudden headaches, dizziness, lethargy, drowsiness, heaviness in the lower abdomen, bloating, abdominal pain and rumbling in the stomach, decreased appetite are the signs of Constipation.
While the early signs of piles are burning sensation at the anal region, itching around the surrounding anal region, mild Constipation and constant feeling of heaviness in the bottom or mild swelling.
"People usually associate blood in stool to formation of Piles. However, this is a myth. The reality is that only 30% of patients suffering from Piles will pass blood in the stool and rest of 70 % will have either of the symptoms like burning, itching and constipation," Dr. Porwal said.
Diet play a very big role in preventing constipation and piles. "One has to add a lot of fiber to the diet if you are suffering from constipation. Include lot of fresh salads, fruits, greens in diet and increase water intake as well. Most important of all is your exercise. Your entire digestion and bowel movements depend on the body’s physical activity ," said Clinical Nutritionist Dhanashree Karmarkar. People are turning to instant and ready-made foods that are having a bad impact on their health.
"Always remember that prevention is better than cure. Health is a person’s first priority. If your life is healthy then everything fall in place," Karmarkar said.
Eating fiber to prevent constipation and piles
* Daily minimum 25-30 grams of fibre should be included in a persons diet. High Fibre foods are as follows,
Cereals : Oats, maize, barley, jowar, bajra, whole wheat and rice.
Pulses and Legumes: Masoor, Moong, black beans and all sprouts.
Vegetables: ladies finger, raddish, beans, cucumber, corn, broccoli, peas, carrot onion, tomato, beetroot, leafy greens.
Milk products: Skim milk, yoghurt and buttermilk
Fruits: Apple, avocado, guava, fig, date, apricot, orange, pear, banana pomegranate, plum, peach, kiwi fruit and grapes.
Dry fruits: almonds, chestnuts, dried coconuts, walnuts and flaxseed.
* Drink 3-4 litres of fluids daily.
* Include soups and beverages too like coconut water, herbal tea, clear soups and
fruit juices etc.