Bowel Independence Day – 4th July 2014
It is estimated that 6.5 million people in the UK have bowel problems are common and around 2 million people suffer from chronic constipation. Bowel problems can significantly impact on many aspects of life including work, social life and relationships. Often due to embarrassment individuals find it difficult to talk about bowel problems and will try to solve the problem themselves, frequently without much success. Many people buy products from their local pharmacy without seeking professional advice.
First steps to a healthy bowel include:
- A healthy breakfast is the best way to start the day
- The ‘Eat Well Plate’ (see below) highlights the importance of a balanced healthy diet
- Adequate amounts of fibre in your diet keep things moving through your digestive system
- Eat 5 portions of fruit and vegetables each day
- Drink water throughout the day
- Keep as active as you can
If you are concerned that your bowel habits have changed (more or less frequent) and this has been going on for some time, speak to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist. If you make an appointment to discuss your bowel problems you may want to complete a diary that records your bowel habit over a one week period and take this with you. Record the type of stool passed by using the Bristol Stool Chart (see below).
To assist in promoting a good bowel habit, make sure you always sit in a good position when you have your bowels open (see below) and try to have your bowels open after you have eaten or a hot drink first thing in the morning.
In many cases bowel problems can be cured but if this is not the case a healthcare professional may be able to help you achieve better management of your symptoms.
Don’t suffer in silence, Bowel Independence Day, Friday 4th July 2014 is your day to ask for help.