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Is It Harmful to Strain While Pooping? Complications, and How to Avoid

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We have all been there before. You sit on the toilet and try to poop. If this happens occasionally, it is usually nothing to worry about.

However, if you make a regular effort to poop, come up with a new game plan. Heavy, difficult-to-pass bowel movements that require physical exertion and exertion can lead to health complications.

In this article, we take a look at potential health complications caused by pooping, tips on how to make pooping effortlessly, and when to call a doctor.

Consistent exposure to pooping can cause a number of health complications, including:

  • Hemorrhoids. These swollen veins in your lower rectum and anus can cause pain, burning, and itching. Try bathing in a warm bath 10 minutes a day to relieve hemorrhoid discomfort. You can also try over-the-counter (OTC) hemorrhoid cream to relieve burning and itching.
  • Anal fissures. A tear in the lining of your anus can cause pain and bleeding during and after a bowel movement. Anal fissures are usually not a serious condition and in most cases will heal on their own in 4 to 6 weeks. Topical pain relievers and stool softeners can aid healing and reduce discomfort.
  • Hiatal hernia. A hiatal hernia is when the top of your stomach pushes through the opening in your diaphragm. Most cases of hiatal hernias don’t require treatment, but large hernias can trap stomach acid and even food in the top of your stomach, delay proper digestion, and increase the risk of acid reflux.
  • Rectal prolapse. When a small amount of the lining of the intestine is pushed out of your anal opening, it is called rectal prolapse. They can range from mild to severe, and all of them require medical attention. Call a doctor if you feel or see a reddish bulge from your anus.

Treating these health complications and their symptoms is only part of the puzzle. You also want to get to the heart of the problem in a nutshell: what causes the need to strain yourself?

If you’re struggling to poop, you should speak to your doctor to find out why. Typical reasons are:

  • Hard chair. Hard bowel movements can happen to anyone from time to time. If your poop is consistently hard and difficult to pass, you may not be getting enough fluids or fiber in your diet. Certain medications, such as iron supplements or narcotics, can also cause hard stools.
  • Constipation. If you poop less than three times a week, or have difficulty pooping for several weeks, you are likely constipated. Constipation is one of the most common digestive problems in the United States, according to a 2013 study.

Other causes can be:

Certain conditions and illnesses can make pooping difficult by disrupting the balance of hormones that help balance the fluids in your body. These conditions include:

A healthy digestive tract (intestines, rectum, and anus) is critical to avoiding the stress of pooping. To keep your digestive tract healthy, you should try:

Get enough fluids

Women should consume about 11 1/2 cups of fluids per day while men should consume about 15 1/2 cups. Liquid comes from:

  • water
  • other drinks
  • Food (corresponds to about 20 percent of total fluid intake)

If you don’t monitor your fluid intake, it is likely enough if:

  • Your urine is very light yellow or colorless
  • They are seldom thirsty

Harvard Medical School recommends that people gradually drink 4 to 6 cups of water throughout the day

Eat a nutritious diet

For easy bowel movements:

  1. Eat foods rich in fiber (e.g. whole grains, fruits, beans, vegetables, nuts).
  2. Limit foods that are low in fiber (dairy, meat, processed snacks).

Do sports regularly

Exercising regularly can help treat and prevent constipation and improve your mental health. Try to exercise for 30 minutes a day at least five times a week. Great options including:

  • walk through your neighborhood
  • Hiking in a nearby park
  • To go biking
  • Swimming

Practice simple pooping techniques

The first step is to relax. If you feel the urge to poop, go to the bathroom ASAP. Then sit down and relax on the toilet. Avoid trying to push the poop out right away. Give your body about 5 minutes to get things going. Having reading materials nearby is one way to avoid impatience and the urge to strain.

Try this poop position

Sitting properly on the toilet is an important way to avoid the stress of pooping, according to the Ministry of Health of Western Australia. Some tips to try out are:

  • Lift your heels or use a step stool or squatty potty to keep your knees higher than your hips
  • Keep your legs apart
  • bend forward with your back straight
  • Put your forearms on your knees

After correct positioning, try:

  • Squeeze your abs forward and repeat with each urge to poop
  • To avoid holding your breath, exhale from your mouth

If you’re constantly having trouble pooping or haven’t had a bowel movement in a few days, make an appointment with a doctor. Be sure to look out for other symptoms to discuss with your doctor, such as:

  • Blood in your stool
  • hard or lumpy poop
  • feeling like you are unable to completely empty the poop from your rectum
  • Bloating
  • a stomach ache
  • anal discomfort

Also, be ready to share information about your diet and exercise routine with your doctor.

The effort to poop can often be relieved with lifestyle changes, such as:

  • get enough fluids
  • a nutritious, high-fiber diet
  • Exercise regularly

If these changes aren’t producing the results you want, make an appointment to discuss your situation with a doctor. They may have additional suggestions or recommend testing to determine if there is an underlying medical condition that is making you exert yourself to poop.

Whole Grains Health

Fun, on-the-go health hacks – The Fort Morgan Times

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(Family Features) As many people return to their normal routines, they return to their usual on-the-go lifestyle by getting back to work, traveling to new destinations, and enjoying time with loved ones.

Remember, as you go back to discovering and meeting with family and friends, you need fuel for your adventures. According to a National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, most Americans don’t get enough whole grains every day and opt for mostly refined grains instead.

Foods like delicious whole grain popcorn offer an easy health hack to make every bite count. Get in the habit of popping 9 cups of popcorn in the morning and dividing it into two containers. Season one container with salt and herbs, the other with a pinch of sugar and cinnamon so you can switch between sweet and salty throughout the day. Bringing delicious options like these along with you on the go will help satisfy your hunger pangs while adding the fiber your body needs.

Because delicious whole grain popcorn is versatile and 3 cups are the equivalent of a serving of whole grain, it’s a simple but tasty option for meeting dietary recommendations. It can be a breeze to add to snacks like Blueberry and Pomegranate Power Bars, Crunchy Popcorn Trail Mix, or Sweet and Savory Curry Popcorn. You can even satisfy children’s cravings with Grab and Go Pizza Popcorn, a six-ingredient recipe that prepares in minutes.

Visit popcorn.org for more nutritious snack ideas.

Sweet and savory curry popcorn

Yield: 8 cups

  • 8 cups of unsalted, unbuttered popcorn
  • 1/3 cup of ghee (clarified butter) or coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 teaspoon of curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cumin
  • 2 teaspoons of sea salt flakes
  1. Put the popcorn in a large mixing bowl.
  2. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the ghee, brown sugar, honey, curry powder and cumin; stir until dissolved. Bring to a light boil; take it off the stove.
  3. Mix the ghee mixture and salt with the popcorn; Transfer to a serving bowl.

Crunchy popcorn trail mix

Yield: 9 cups

  • 5 cups of popcorn
  • 3 cups whole grain oatmeal
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1/3 cup peanuts or other nuts
  • 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine
  • 6 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  1. In a large, microwaveable bowl, stir together the popcorn, granola, raisins, nuts, and seeds; put aside.
  2. In a small saucepan, heat the butter, brown sugar, and corn syrup to a boil; Cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour over the popcorn mixture and stir evenly.
  3. Microwave 3-4 minutes, stirring and scraping bowl after every minute.
  4. Spread on a greased baking sheet; cool. Break into pieces and store in an airtight container.

Blueberry and pomegranate power bars

Yield: 12 bar

  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • 8 cups of popcorn
  • 1 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup of dried blueberries
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1/2 cup whole natural almonds, toasted and roughly chopped
  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp butter or margarine
  • 6 ounces of bittersweet chocolate, melted
  1. Line 13 x 9 inch pan with foil; Spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the popcorn, oats, blueberries, pomegranate seeds, and almonds together.
  3. In a small saucepan over low heat, cook honey, brown sugar and butter for 2 minutes. Pour over the popcorn mixture and mix thoroughly.
  4. With wet hands, squeeze the mixture firmly into the prepared pan. Chill until firm, about 2 hours. Cut into 12 bars.
  5. Dip the bottom of the bars in melted chocolate. Place on a pan lined with waxed paper; Chill until ready to serve. Store in a tightly closed container in the refrigerator.

Grab yourself and go pizza popcorn

Yield: 6 liters

  • 6 liters of popped popcorn
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 1 cup of grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons of garlic salt
  • 2 teaspoons of paprika
  • 1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning
  1. Place popcorn in a large, resealable plastic container or 2 1/2 gallon resealable plastic bag.
  2. Spray the popcorn lightly with olive oil cooking spray.
  3. Sprinkle cheese, garlic salt, paprika, and Italian condiments over the popcorn and shake it to distribute it evenly.
  4. Place popcorn in reusable plastic cups to serve.

SOURCE:Popcorn board

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What is gluten? A nutritionist explains everything you need to know

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Gluten has become a popular topic, and there is a lot of confusion as to whether going gluten-free is a legitimate pursuit or just an unfounded fad. Let’s clear it up. Here’s what gluten is, why it may need to be eliminated from your diet, and the common pitfalls to avoid when opting for gluten-free.

What is gluten

Gluten is a type of protein found naturally in wheat (including spelled, kamut, farro, and bulgur), barley, rye, and triticale. However, as an additive, gluten acts like a binder that holds food together, so you can find it in products that range from salad dressings to vitamins; it can even be in lip balm.

Credit: Wesual Click / Unsplash

Is Gluten Bad For You?

There are legitimate medical conditions that make people intolerant to gluten. The most common is celiac disease, an autoimmune disease in which eating gluten causes damage to the small intestine (more on this below).

Some people believe that gluten is harmful to everyone and should generally be avoided. So far, there isn’t a lot of research to support this. A 2017 study published in the BMJ followed over 100,000 people without celiac disease for 26 years. The researchers found no link between long-term consumption of gluten through food and the risk of heart disease, a concern that people in and outside of the medical community had.

Another study published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology in 2019 looked at over 160,000 women without celiac disease. The scientists concluded that dietary gluten intake in adulthood was not linked to a risk of microscopic colitis, also known as inflammation of the colon lining, which was another potential problem.

However, some people may want to avoid gluten even if they don’t have a condition that causes gluten intolerance. As a nutritionist, I agree that a customer can become gluten-free as long as they consume a variety of nutritious whole-food sources of carbohydrates. In short, you don’t need gluten, but you do need a wide range of nutrients and energy-supporting carbohydrates that are easily obtained while avoiding gluten.

Why do people go on a gluten-free diet?

Gluten is found in many foods, so killing it entirely can be a huge obligation, but there are medical conditions that call for strict gluten avoidance. Again, someone with celiac disease must completely cut gluten from their diet. This is because even consuming small amounts of gluten can trigger serious symptoms such as abdominal pain and gas. However, celiac disease isn’t the only condition that warrants a gluten-free diet. Some doctors recommend that people with other autoimmune diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, psoriasis, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis avoid gluten.

There is also gluten sensitivity without celiac disease. In people with this condition, eating gluten causes bothersome side effects due to an inflammatory reaction. Symptoms can include flu-like feelings, gas and other gastrointestinal problems, mental foggy, and tiredness. The remedy is to avoid gluten.

Another condition, dermatitis herpetiformis (DH), is a skin rash that results from eating gluten. While people with celiac disease can also have DH, you can have DH without being diagnosed with celiac disease.

Finally, if you have a wheat allergy, you need to avoid some sources of gluten. Sometimes mistakenly referred to as a gluten allergy, a wheat allergy can lead to a serious reaction to any of the proteins found in wheat, including gluten. Wheat must be avoided if you have a wheat allergy, but you may not need to cut out non-wheat grains that contain gluten. Swelling or itching in the mouth or throat, hives, shortness of breath, gastrointestinal problems and, in severe cases, anaphylaxis are possible symptoms of a wheat allergy.

Even for people without any of these conditions, eliminating gluten can improve health, energy, and weight management – but only if it means replacing highly processed foods that traditionally contain gluten with whole, naturally gluten-free foods. For example, if switching to gluten results in a change, such as replacing a dense bagel of refined white flour with a bowl of oatmeal with fruit and nuts, you may see benefits even if your body isn’t specifically gluten-sensitive.

Are Gluten Free Foods Healthy?

Gluten-free and high-carbohydrate foods, including sweet potatoes and fruits, are nutritious and healthy. (Photo credit: Louis Hansel / Unsplash)

Gluten-free foods can be healthy, but they can also be highly processed and lacking in nutrients. Whole grain gluten-free products like brown rice and quinoa are full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber, and have research-backed health benefits. Other naturally gluten-free, high-carbohydrate foods such as sweet potatoes and fruit are also nutritious and healthy.

Unfortunately, the gluten-free craze has sparked a boom in highly processed foods made with refined versions of gluten-free grains like white rice. From pizza crusts to cupcakes, you can buy practically anything in a gluten-free version these days. The fact that a product is gluten-free doesn’t automatically make it healthy; it just makes it acceptable to someone who needs or wants to avoid gluten.

In my practice, I’ve seen people gain weight after becoming gluten-free from eating too much processed gluten-free foods like muffins, donuts, crackers, bread, and cookies. If diet is your priority, check out the ingredients list. Unless it’s an occasional treat, a product’s ingredients should read like a recipe you might have made in your own kitchen. And if grains are included (some gluten-free products are made with other starches like potatoes or cassava) they should be whole (like brown or white rice), which means they haven’t been stripped of their fiber and nutrients. In other words, there are packaged gluten-free foods that are healthy, like chickpea noodles, but you need to look beyond “gluten-free” on a package to isolate it.

Beware of the gluten myths

Since going gluten-free became mainstream, I’ve heard a lot of myths about this protein, and I’ve seen some common gluten-free missteps. For example, I’ve met a lot of people who say they’re gluten-free, but in reality they’ve only eliminated wheat-based foods like bread, pasta, and bagels. As mentioned earlier, wheat is just a source of gluten.

Photo credit: Pille R. Priske / Unsplash

Some people also think that gluten is found in all types of grain. In fact, there are several naturally gluten-free grains, including rice, corn, quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat, millet, sorghum, teff, and oats – that is, as long as they have not been contaminated with other gluten-containing grains during processing. (Note: this is why some oatmeal is specifically labeled gluten-free. It is not a different type of oat, and the gluten has not been removed; they simply have not been exposed to gluten.) Also, some people believe that all high-carb foods contain gluten, which results in them eliminating carbohydrate free foods like potatoes or even fruits. The truth is, most whole foods are naturally gluten-free, with the exception of a handful of grains.

Bottom line

Going gluten-free shouldn’t be dismissed as a trend. Some people have to go without gluten in order to feel good. Others may choose to avoid gluten as it helps them make healthier choices, such as snacking on fruits and nuts instead of pretzels. If you choose to go gluten-free, be sure to avoid some of the pitfalls mentioned. And if you need more personal advice on how to meet your nutritional needs on a gluten-free diet or how to treat a chronic condition, contact a registered nutritionist who can advise you individually.

Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD, is the nutrition editor for Health, a New York Times best-selling author, and a private performance nutritionist who has advised five professional sports teams.

This story first appeared on www.health.com

Main and Feature Image: Courtesy of Getty Images

© 2021. Health Media Ventures, Inc.. All rights reserved. Licensed by Health.com and published with permission from Health Media Ventures, Inc. Duplication in any language, in whole or in part, without prior written permission is prohibited.

Health and the Health logo are registered trademarks of Health Media Ventures, Inc. Used under license.

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The MedWalk diet: A step closer to walking away from dementia

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PICTURE: A Mediterranean diet is high in fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and fish, while low in saturated fats, red meat, and alcohol. view More

Credit: Unsplash

It has been named the best diet in the world for weight loss, but now researchers at the University of South Australia are confident that the Mediterranean diet – when combined with daily exercise – can also ward off dementia and slow the decline in brain function that is common with old age.

In the world’s first study, starting this week, researchers from the University of South Australia and Swinburne University, along with a consortium of partners *, will examine the health benefits of older people who adhere to a Mediterranean diet while taking daily walks.

Called the MedWalk Study, the two-year, $ 1.8 million NHMRC-funded study will enroll 364 senior Australians – 60 to 90 years of age who live independently in a village and without cognitive impairment – in 28 residential locations in South Australia and Recruit Victoria.

It’s a recent study, especially given Australia’s aging population, where around a quarter of all Australians will be over 65 by 2050.

UniSA lead researcher, Associate Professor Karen Murphy, says combining the nutritional benefits of the Mediterranean diet with the health benefits of exercise intervention could yield significant benefits.

“Dementia is a condition that affects a person’s thinking, behavior, and ability to perform everyday tasks. While it is more common in older Australians, it is not a normal part of aging, ”says Assoc Prof. Murphy.

“Around 472,000 people live with dementia in Australia. It costs the economy more than $ 14 billion each year and is projected to grow to over $ 1 trillion over the next 40 years.

“While there is currently no prevention or cure for dementia, there is a growing consensus that a focus on risk reduction can have positive results. This is where our study starts.

“Early pilots of our MedWalk intervention demonstrated improved memory and thinking in a subset of older participants who followed a combination of a Mediterranean diet and daily walking for six months.

“We are now expanding this study to a broader group of older Australians and using carefully designed behavior modification and maintenance strategies in hopes of significantly reducing the incidence of dementia across Australia.”

A Mediterranean diet is high in fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and fish, while low in saturated fats, red meat, and alcohol.

The 24-month study randomly assigns residences to the MedWalk intervention or their usual lifestyle (the control group) so that all participants who live in a facility are in the same group. Changes in diet and walking are supported by organized and regular motivational, diet and exercise units.

Professor Andrew Pipingas, head of neurocognitive aging research at the Center for Human Psychopharmacology in Swinburne and lead investigator, says this study is about preventing dementia from occurring.

“Since finding a cure and treating people in the later stages of the disease is extremely difficult, our focus is on helping people at risk of dementia stay healthy to ensure that Australians do well The future is going well. ”

###

Notes for editors:

  • May is National Month of the Mediterranean Diet
  • The full list of partners involved in this study are: Swinburne University; University of South Australia; Deakin University; La Trobe University; RMIT University; Murdoch University; University of Sheffield Hallam, UK; University of East Anglia, UK; University College Cork, Ireland.

Media contact: Annabel Mansfield T: +61 8 8302 0351 M: +61 417 717 504 E: Annabel.Mansfield@unisa.edu.au

Researcher: UniSA: Associate Professor Karen Murphy T: +61 8 8302 1033 E: Karen.Murphy@unisa.edu.au

Swinburne: Professor Andrew Pipingas T: +61 3 9214 5215 E: apipingas@swin.edu.au

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of press releases sent to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of information via the EurekAlert system.

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