chia seeds on sprinkled with wooden spoon

Diet for Slow Transit Constipation

Have you been diagnosed with slow transit constipation? One of the important things to think about if you haven’t already is your diet. A healthy diet is essential for everyone but there are certain foods which can you eat to increase your chances of going to the toilet.

Here are some that I include in my diet for slow transit constipation which have helped me.

Prunes

Prunes? Ugh, they don’t sound nice do they? Well I thought that until I discovered Activia prune yoghurts. I started off with the prune ones and blended with the yoghurt flavour it’s actually really nice. You can also buy a multipack of different flavours including fig and rhubarb.

Chia seeds

Mixed with something that you eat most days, e.g. porridge, yoghurts, salads etc. chia seeds are really good as they’re high in protein. They give you energy so they’re also beneficial to eat if you go to the gym or keep active and exercise. Also, they are very healthy for your digestive system and can help to relieve constipation.

Mackerel

I aim to at at least one portion of oily fish each week. Mackerel is part of my plan to maintain my this I think it goes well with salad and makes a nice dinner at work. As someone with hypertension, it’s also great that it helps to lower blood pressure too.

Plenty of water

It goes without saying that hydration is an important factor of a healthy diet. I’ve learnt the importance of drinking more water at work not just in the evenings at home. It can be so hard when there are a lot of tea bellies at work!

Remember, each individual is different. Our bodies work in their own ways. What works for some may not work for others. This post has solely been based on my own experiences that might help someone else with slow transit constipation.

Share your tips for the best diet for slow transit constipation in the comments box further down the page.

daisy on a woman's stomach

Slow Transit Constipation Diagnosis

Slow transit constipation (STC) is a neuromuscular problem where the muscles of the large intestines have delayed movement. It’s also associated with a ‘sluggish bowel’.

A bit of a background with my diagnosis… It had been a couple of years since I had my visit to the doctors explaining that I was constipated. But back then, I felt like my body became accustomed to feeling the way it did and it wasn’t the worst thing in the world.

That was until a while later when my body just wasn’t right. No lifestyle change or dietary improvements were helping. I’m an active and healthy person, I eat my oily fish once-twice a week, drink plenty of water throughout the day etc. However, I was lucky if I could go to the toilet (to empty my bowel) for at least two weeks at a time. And even then, I’m talking small hard pieces, not a proper poo! No matter how much bloat was building up, a very tiny amount of coming out of me.

There’s more to the side effects of slow transit constipation than people think 

Not only that but I could no longer eat, I was being sick in the morning and throughout the day when I attempted to eat. It caused me to feel anxious whenever I could manage a small amount of food because it would either harden my stomach or come back up.

Feeling dizzy was a regular occurrence, probably because I had zero energy levels. I felt sad all the time and didn’t want to see friends. It’s awful to admit that I punched my stomach a few times because it was so swollen. I hated how I looked in clothes – one big ball of bloat.

It’s got to the point where I had an awful amount of fear and embarrassment about eventually needing the toilet. To this day, I still get the urge to go and can’t miss the opportunity but still have pain. My left abdomen suffers the most. But more recently, I’ve started to feel a sharp pain my right side too.

What’s worse is the frequent urge to need a wee but not always being able to go. The pressure from my bowel is the cause of this.

Being diagnosed with slow transit constipation

After feeling my left abdomen, the consultant said he could feel an unusual sized hard lump. He gathered this was due to a build up of impaction. Afterwards I had an internal examination, which resulted to the decision of booking in for a colonic transit study.

In the meantime I had a trip to A&E. I had to leave work because I was experiencing an excruciating pain in my left abdomen and I was throwing up. The same abnormalities were picked up but there was nothing they could do other than prescribe more laxatives. Eventually I was booked in for the colonic transit study after waiting 6 weeks for a letter or phone call. But that’s another story.

During the study, you take a capsule which has lots of tiny radiopaque markers inside.  On day 5 you go back into the hospital to have an x-ray. This reveals where all of the little markers inside have reached. To their surprise but not mine, I had more than 20 markers left inside, some of which hadn’t even reached my small bowel and there was also some faecal residue in my colon.

The consultant said, “Yes, it confirms you have slow transit constipation.” And when I asked how I move forward with this, he said try more laxatives or there’s a tablet you can take which he suggested my GP to prescribe me.

Guess what happened next? I was passed back to my GP which he for one, couldn’t understand how it had ‘been dealt with’ and why my follow-up appointment was so rushed. I took a course of the medication and it didn’t work. This was after I tried Laxido, Lactulose, Senna, Movicol, Dulcolax etc. so you can imagine how frustrating it was.

Moving forward…

As advised from the consultant, there’s no way to cure slow transit constipation. But it was interesting to hear that it’s a symptom rather than a condition on its own. Whenever I look up slow transit constipation, I see a lot of web pages relating to slow transit constipation being more common in children than adults.

It’s quite annoying because my body always seems to be, let’s say, a bit odd. For example, my diagnosis of hypertension (high blood pressure) at the age of 23. I often wonder if the constipation, high blood pressure, migraines and sensitivity to coldness causing blue/grey hands are all linked together in some kind of way – perhaps thyroid related? However, blood test usually reveal ‘borderline’ or ‘normal’ results.

The slow transit constipation doesn’t go away but I’ve just got to learn different ways of coping. I try to eat less portions but still make sure I’m having enough food and fluids intake. Mostly, chia seeds and prunes help me to digest food. My stomach can go from flat to a huge ball and it’s very uncomfortable. Just the other day, my boyfriend asked me when did I last go to the toilet. Other than a night out where one drop of Malibu had me running to the nearest toilet, I honestly can’t remember.

There are still occasions where I cry because of the pain. Digesting food is the most important thing for me. Without it I’m weak and let’s face it, a little grumpy too. We all need food!

If you suffer from slow transit constipation share your experiences below.

Danny Tells Us Why You Should Give Blood If You Can

Danny has given blood regularly for a number of years. He attends the blood donor centres in Manchester to make his blood donations. He tells us why you should give blood if you can.

When did you decide to give blood and why?

As soon as I knew I was old enough I decided to give blood. I was 16 or 17-years-old.

How many donations have you given?

To date, I’ve given 18 donations – this includes donating platelets. To give a whole blood count, it’s every 3 months for men and every 4 months for women.

How do you feel about giving platelets?

I prefer to give them rather than whole blood now because I have A- blood type which means I’m eligible for platelet donation. 60% of platelet donation go to patients with cancer. And group A platelets can be given to all ABO blood groups.

What are the best places/people that your blood has been donated to that you’re aware of?

All blood donated goes to good places that need it. But knowing it goes to a prenatal ward is a good feeling. Oh and an A&E department too.

Do you think you’ll always give blood given that your health is maintained?

Yes. As long as I can I will because you never know who needs help. And you never know if one day, I’ll need it too.

What would you say to people who are considering to donate their blood for the first time?

Do it. It’s a great feeling knowing you can and that you’re doing something amazing. And what have you got to lose? Ask if you can give platelets. You can give them every 2 weeks and 1 donation goes to 3 adults or 12 children.

Danny will be returning to the blood donor centre in Manchester very soon. Visit the NHSBT website to see if you can give blood and where the nearest donation centre is near you.

Health Comes Before Anything

For me, health comes before anything else. Just as I explained with how stress can impact your health, you should always consider the importance of your health first and foremost. No amount of money, broken friendships, or work issues are more important.

3 small but popular examples that can affect your health

The people who are meant to stay in your life will stay there. When it comes to money, if you’ve got yourself into an unstable financial position, think about how you got there. If it was something out of your control then fair enough but if you know you can fix it from your own wrongdoing then be the one to control how it affects your future. There’s no better time than now to make a change.

Likewise, if you’re in an unhappy place at work, you might feel as though you’re not in a position where you can just walk out and leave. But if you’ve tried your best and your health is overturning in all kinds of directions, it’s time to think about you for a change.

Self-care and taking some time to yourself

I often talk about self-care. It doesn’t always mean that you need to learn to love yourself. But think about the small things. Those times when you just want some me-time, find time to make the most of those moments. Sometimes, you’ll just need a pamper or chill day. Today as I’m writing this post I think, I’m on my 4/4 days off. And why haven’t I had a single chilled out today to do nothing but a Netflix binge?

Me, mum, and dad have been joined by more family from Scotland again over the weekend until mid this week. And it’s been lovely. Again, it’s the little things that have made us all smile. Spending time together, catching up, and reminiscing on old memories. So I’m not complaining because the time has all been worth it. Especially as I’ve been surrounded by nothing but smiles and laughs. But it’s finally good to get my head down and be writing a blog post as I’ve been wanting to recently.

The discussion of health with my doctor

I’m a reasonably healthy person. I’m lucky to have no major health problems. But the doctor has made me aware of how importance it is to keep it this way. When he asked me have you been stressed about anything? I was thinking, wow no I’m much happier than I was six months or so ago. But then again, he kinda knows if something is up (sometimes). Especially when it’s going to show when there’s no other likely cause of something.

My blood pressure has risen again on several readings, which meant having to go on some tablets to keep it at a healthy reading. And that’s worked well. I’d rather have a normal reading without them but maybe we’ll see what happens in a few months. I go back next month for a check-up and again in a couple month’s time for a thyroid test.

It’s all good

Other than that, I’m still on propranolol as usual. The migraines and headaches, visual disturbances in particular, still know how to get the better of me. These and my dad’s history (blood pressure, and mini strokes at an early age etc) has led some changes in my health and lifestyle. But if it means a healthy and happy future then it’s all good.

Here’s to another happy and healthy week!

Lifestyle Changes I’ve Made for the Better

There will be times over the weekend where I feel like I have no life. What is a good lifestyle anyway? The odd weekend here and there I might see some friends, catch-up, go for a few drinks, etc. Other weekends I’ll spend time with my boyfriend, go to the cinema, or plan other little trips to add to our list. And for the most (recent) part, I feel like I’m doing nothing. That’s why I’m sharing three lifestyle changes I’ve made – all of which are completely different things.

Early morning gym time

Sometimes, you’ll wake up and not want to do a single thing all day. This is where I need to tell myself that it’s okay. Yesterday I woke up at 5:50 on a Saturday morning. As much of an early riser as my mum is, she was still in bed at this point. She said, “What are you doing?” so I replied, “Getting ready for the gym.” And the conversation as you can imagine was something pretty much like: “What? Now?”

I always wondered how people managed to go to the gym so early in the morning and do the rest of their day. Then, I realised that I didn’t enjoy going after work especially with how busy it gets. I was going less and less because I didn’t seem to enjoy it anymore. Before, during, and afterwards, I was just making myself feel like rubbish.

Small lifestyle changes = big impact on happiness

Until recently, as you can tell from mum’s impression above, that’s all changed. I’ve started to go first thing in the morning. And it doesn’t half give me a good feeling. I feel so energised and refreshed. Some may wonder, “Refreshed?” But it really is. I have a great kick-start to the day. And getting over the gym fear feels even better. It’s not about having to go everyday but doing what’s right for you.

Knowing I’m doing something to keep fit, keep my mentality at an okay level, and working on getting rid of that bloating feeling works well for me. Or at least, most of the time. Take last night for instance. That fed up feeling where you feel like you should be doing something and just feel like rubbish, hit me. I don’t know why it happens but it does. There I go again sitting there and wondering why I don’t feel as uplifted as I did in the morning.

No sugar on my Weetabix and less in my tea

I honestly couldn’t tell if I was bored, couldn’t make the most of doing nothing, or just being meh. So anyway, I decided to eat a bar of galaxy and worry less about my spotty, messed up skin, and how silly I was feeling. It must be silly because I don’t understand what it is… or as this ever happened to you?

Part of that bloating I mentioned early and well, just relating to health in general. I’ve always had two sugars in my tea. Always. Whoever gave me that cup of tea when I was little, you gave me the addiction. Whether or not there was sugar, I don’t know. But having two started from somewhere! So I decided to make a small change and go for one instead. Yesterday morning I even had none and that’s good going for me.

And then there’s Weetabix. Mum must have got me into the habit of adding a sprinkle of sugar. Ever since I was little, I remember having Weetabix washed up with a little bit of sugar. And I still mash it up like a kid now. I don’t have it warm, I’ve always had it cold. I no longer have that sprinkle of sugar. I just wanted to make a few small changes for me and that was another was of them.

Being more self-focused

Looking after yourself requires a lot of attention. Or does it? There’s a side of me that thinks okay, it’s time to stop focusing my attention of others. That being about what others think. If you think about it, the amount of time you spend (if you’re like me) doing this, is ridiculous. I’m a believer that life’s purpose is to enjoy who you are and what surrounds you. So surrounding yourself with better people who make a positive impact in your life is better. And most importantly, doing what’s best for you to be happy has to come first.

Luckily, my happiness comes with another person. My happiness also means they’re happy and vice versa. As well as anyone else who may be around, we can lift each other up. I’ve learnt that I should never feel lonely because there’s always someone there. Being self-focused doesn’t mean being self-absorbed. There’s other things going on around you that you should care about. But just don’t forget to look after yourself too. Neglecting that can make you become a whole different person. A person you wouldn’t like to be.

Now it’s time to reveal a much happier you…

Focusing on what makes you happy and who comes along with it reveals a much happier you. Trying to put those annoyances aside can be the part that ‘requires a lot of attention’ if you struggle more than others. Some days I say “Oh whatever. I don’t care.” Other days, I’m much more about expressing my feelings.


Okay so, sugar, gym, and self-focusing – strange combination right? It’s not really when you think about it. The message here is, don’t be afraid to try new things. Things don’t always have to be the way they’ve been. Working on the smaller things and taking small steps can help. Even if they don’t, you won’t know until you’ve tried. Choices are yours to make no matter how big or small.

walking towards a windmill

How Our Body and Mind Reflects the Confidence We Have

This post couldn’t come at a more perfect time. With all of the thoughts going through my mind over the recent couple of months, it’s time to reflect once again. And this time it’s on confidence.

I am happy to say that I am finally happy with how my blog is. I was having all kinds of thoughts about how I wanted it to look different. But as it stands, I’m going to stick with it as it now. The much more important part is the content. I thought I was losing my love for writing but it turns out I was being side-tracked. Focusing on something which wasn’t as important – making everything look perfect.

Perfection doesn’t lead to confidence

There’s never a day where I think I look perfect, never mind the appearance of my blog. There are some days where I’ll feel good about myself but I’ll always find a flaw. People will compliment and I’ll still find that flaw. Over the past couple of special occasions I’ve felt quite fed up. Feeling like my blog wasn’t going anywhere anymore was part of this. Though, it hasn’t been the biggest factor. Now that I’ve seen giving it all up would be stupid it’s time to look at myself.

It’s funny really. People hear that I blog. They don’t know what it is. And sometimes I have to tell them to explore my blog in order to see what it’s all about. That’s because I’m happy to say that I don’t have a niche. It covers bits of everything – many different aspects of lifestyle experiences. And includes the odd sponsored post with brands here and there.

It’s time to change my outlook

Within these past couple of weeks I’ve noticed that one thing has changed my outlook on things. And that all begins with comparison. The worst thing you can ever do to yourself, comparing yourself to others.

I don’t always have the clearest skin; my belly is often bloated and feels horrible even when others don’t see it; I don’t like to show my ‘prettiest’ look every day. That’s okay. I actually cried last week. I know, I’m silly. But it can put you down once one thing gets to you and you let others follow.

Just because one dress doesn’t zip up doesn’t mean another won’t. Yes – I had a meltdown over clothes not fitting, looking like I’d put on weight (because I probably have put on a few pounds). Well, I’ve not done too bad in over the last couple of years or so considering how much I love food!

Things won’t always go to plan, or meet expectations. But you can try a different way and exceed those expectations.

I might put off exercise here and there. But I’ve been looking at myself in the mirror so many times and not liking what I see. I know that if you want something you should work for it. But sometimes, you feel so unmotivated that sense of I can do this disappears.

An eye opener in confidence

I’ve opened my eyes and know that I’m not always going to like something but it doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t love myself. It hasn’t helped when you’ve seen someone look at the part of you that you dislike. But eventually you will be able to hold your head up and ignore it. That’s the only way you can carry on being you. And most of all, being a happy you.

I’ve spent more days going out of the house with less or no make-up on at all. At first you can worry about the looks because you feel like you don’t have that fresh-faced look going for you. Especially when it makes you look just as young. Then you think, to hell with that. It’s me. That’s who I am.

Even though I feel like I’m seen by more people on those kind of occasions, I just need to think, there are plenty of people who find the confidence, and so can I. Past experiences have made me switch to a less confident me at times. It’s all about passing those obstacles. They’ll be back and I just have to be strong and fight harder.

It’s good to have my confidence back

When you get that boost in your mood back, you’ll feel motivated by many things. Take today for instance, I put some music on and got my head down to get this piece together. It worked. Finally! I’ve got my confidence back.

I can breathe again without having those bundle of thoughts in the back of my mind. Or at least less of them. That’s much better than an overload of worry which often leads to headache and shakiness. I get enough of those two as it is. My migraine medication might reduce the frequency but I have to work with them too.

Isn’t it about time that you found that confidence in yourself again? If I can do it, you definitely can.