In response to the fast-paced lifestyle of modern people, cooking three meals at home is not always easy. With the growing popularity of food delivery services in society, eating out has become an inevitable dining pattern for working individuals. However, many face problems related to eating out due to a lack of understanding of how to make healthy choices, and “constipation” is a common issue. According to a survey by the Taiwan Nutrition Foundation, nearly half of working individuals in Taiwan (47.2%) experience constipation. This problem is not exclusive to working professionals, as pregnant women and the elderly also commonly face constipation issues.
Why Does Constipation Occur?
Constipation results from a slowing down of the movement of feces in the colon, causing abnormal bowel movements. Prolonged constipation can alter the composition of the intestinal microbiota, leading to an increase in toxic metabolites produced by harmful bacteria. Additionally, the extended retention time of bacteria increases the production of putrefactive substances through fermentation, stimulating abnormal growth of intestinal mucosal epithelial cells and potentially inducing carcinogenesis.
💡 To avoid being part of the constipation group, it is essential to cultivate good daily habits:
- Ensure an intake of about 1500–2000 cc of water per day.
- Consume foods rich in fiber.
- Engage in regular exercise.
- Abdominal massage can increase intestinal peristalsis.
- Develop a habit of bowel movements at least three times a week and avoid holding in bowel movements.
Be Cautious of Ingredients That May Lead to Dependency on Bowel Movements!
For those considering healthcare products related to smooth bowel movements, effectiveness is a crucial factor. However, it is imperative to carefully examine the ingredient list to avoid purchasing products containing stimulant laxatives or ingredients that may lead to dependency on bowel movements, including:
Also known as senna leaf, senna glycoside, senna, or senna leaf extract.
Cascara Sagrada (Containing Sennoside)
Castor Oil (Containing Sennoside)
Aloe Vera (Containing Aloin)
Sennoside, aloin from aloe vera, and castor oil are stimulant laxative ingredients commonly used in medical constipation treatments. These laxative ingredients directly stimulate the intestinal mucosa or nerve plexus on the intestinal wall, facilitating the expulsion of feces. However, due to their strong stimulant effects, side effects such as abdominal cramps, loss of fluids, and electrolyte imbalances may occur after use. Worse still, long-term use of these stimulant laxatives can increase intestinal tolerance, meaning that even with sufficient feces in the intestine, the normal peristalsis and defecation reflex cannot occur. This makes it more challenging to treat constipation!
Due to these reasons, products containing such stimulant laxatives often have a special note in their drug imitation sheets stating “This drug should not be used for an extended period”. However, because of their immediate effectiveness, these ingredients are commonly added to products for weight loss, slimming, and smooth bowel movements. Nevertheless, consumers usually take health supplements over an extended period, making it easy to develop dependency on products containing these ingredients. Ultimately, long-term use of sennoside can even lead to a condition known as melanosis coli.
💡 It is recommended that consumers carefully read the ingredient labels when purchasing health products that claim to help with bowel movements. Be sure to avoid products containing the mentioned stimulant laxative ingredients.