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.

Comics & Cartoons

da Vinci Marriage Quote

Marriage is like putting your hand into a bag full of snakes in hope of pulling out an eel.

Leonardo da Vinci



Budgeting 101 Cartoon

Here’s an ideal monthly budget for $1000.

But it often ends up like this…

As Leonardo da Vinci said:

Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.

So having the perfect budget doesn’t help unless it’s followed. To stick to a budget, tracking your expense is essential. Every day, make it a habit to itemize everything you spend on an excel sheet. This is very cumbersome but it will force you to review your daily spending and where you’re spending too much.

For example, I have set my ideal food budget to $330 to achieve my financial goal, but the first month I started tracking I spent well over $600 (for a two person household). This forced me to be more mindful of my grocery shopping and to think of ways to cut my grocery bill. It is a work in progress.

Here are some free tools that would help you with budgeting:

  • Google Sheets/Open Office ODS file
    • Free excel sheets are available, no need to purchase any special software. I am currenty using google sheets so I can enter my data on my phone/computer.
  • Google Keep
    • Take a picture of your receipt, then capture expense by using “Grab Image Text”. This will make the data entry slightly less cumbersome.

Note: There are many budget/expense tracking apps out there that takes a picture of receipts but at this time I haven’t found one that would capture each item bought on the receipt. Most of them will capture the total spent at a certain store, which is not very helpful.

I found this Japanese app which captures every item bought, and even suggests a recipe. Unfortunately, it is not available outside Japan. If you have any suggestions about which app to use to make receipt -> expense tracking easy, please let me know. Because of the way my receipts tend to build up (not practicing what I preach), I’m willing to use a pay-for-app. I think it’s worth it!