Top Causes of Constipation

Constipation Cartoon
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Japanese version is here.

Constipated? Here are some top causes and remedies for each one.

Travelling/Out of Your Routine

You are on the go. You don’t have the luxury to wait until your bowel movement.

Remedy: Make a “break day”. For a day (perhaps mid vacation) make sure you schedule a relaxing morning (prime time for bowel movement) to push it out.

Not enough/Too much fiber

Fiber is essential to have regular bowel movements, but too much of the wrong type of fiber may make your constipation worse. There are two types of fiber, soluble and insoluble. Soluble makes your stool softer, and insoluble makes your stool bulkier.

Remedy: Depending on what kind of constipation you have, choose your fibre intake wisely. Balance is key, and if you eat too much fiber, it plugs you even more. Which leads to the next cause:

Not Enough Water

If you don’t drink much water, it hardens your stool. Without enough water, there’s bowel movement doesn’t start.

Remedy: Drink 2L of water a day. Start your day with 2 glasses of cold water. This will start your bowel movement.

Eating too much

If you are eating enough fiber but still feel plugged and can’t feel any bowel movement, you might be eating too much. If you eat too much, your body is too busy digesting your food and the already digested plugged food do not get too much attention. This may also be the reason why you get constipation while travelling; you are surrounded by exotic food that you eat way too much.

Remedy: Skip breakfast. Start the day with cleansing water such as Water mixed with a tablespoon of salt and lemon juice from one whole lemon. This may help you with your bowel movement.


Sometimes, depending on your condition, you are more likely to become constipation. Pregnancy is one of them. A hormone called progesterone which is abundant in pregnancy causes constipation.

Remedy: Follow the remedies listed above.

When all else fails…

Over the Counter medications provide temporary relief. However becoming dependent on them will make you get used to the medication and will not help in the long run. Ensure you adapt a healthy lifestyle so you don’t have to take OTC medications that often.

Speak to your pharmacist for the right OTC medication. This is extremely important for pregnant women. During my pregnancy my doctor and pharmacist suggested taking non-cramping medications such as magnesium or lax-a-day

*** Please note that I am not a medical or nutritional professional. I am simply recounting and sharing my own experiences on this blog. Nothing I express here should be taken as medical advice and you should consult with your doctor before starting any diet or exercise program.

Food & Cooking

Drinking Alone

Drinking Alone Cartoon

I’m hooked on tapas type dishes these days, and Ajillo is one of them. It’s so easy, plus it’s low carb.  Ajillo is a Spanish word meaining “Garlic flavored”.  In an Ajillo dish, you gently fry any ingredient you like in a garlic & chili infused olive oil.

Recipe for Oyster Ajillo

Garlic (as much as you like. sliced or whole)
Olive Oil (fill up 1/3 – 1/2 of the pan you are using)
red chilli flakes or whole, to taste
Oyster (I bought a tub of shucked oyster from Superstore)

In very low heat, warm up olive oil, garlic and chili.  There are pots made for ajillo, but any small pot would do. Clay pot or cast iron pans are nice to cook with. I put lots of garlic. Once the garlic bubbles through, gently fry the oyster until it becomes puffy.  I like eating off the cooked oyster in the kitchen while it’s hot.  Dip bread in the oyster-garlic-infused oil. You’ll be in heaven! Leftover oil can be eaten at other days, with sliced breads. It becomes a perfect appetizer. I also fried some rice with the leftover oil and it was really good!

A pot designed for ajillo looks like this:

Ajillo is very popular in Japan, and the Japanese amazon sells pans designed for ajillo.