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Digestive fitness week

- Feeling good from the inside......out

London -- 44% of the nation rate the health of their digestive system as the least important over that of the heart, lungs, kidney and circulatory system. That's according to a nationwide survey conducted by Senokot and Fybogel. Yet, over 3 million people in the UK, from all walks of life, suffer from constipation once a month or more.

For this reason, Monday 11th November sees the launch of Digestive Fitness Week, sponsored by Senokot and Fybogel, to help raise awareness of digestive health. To mark the launch of the week, a Digestive Fitness Information Bureau and helpline has been set up to provide consumers with advice and information on keeping themselves digestively fit. In addition, a survey into consumers' attitudes to digestive health was carried out with some interesting results:

Did you know....?

Constipation can impact on your sex life...

-25% of all those surveyed stated that being constipated and uncomfortable would put them off sex

-For 25 to 34 year olds, being constipation was rated as the factor most likely to put off sex, above tiredness, stress, a hangover and a headache

Bowel habits are still taboo...

-40% of 25 to 65 year olds stated bowel habits as the least acceptable topic of conversation out of a choice of taboo topics such as menstrual cycles, contraception, body odour, sexually transmitted diseases. Constipation can cause symptoms other than bloating...

-25% of women stated irritability as a symptom of constipation

-One in five 45 to 54 year olds associated fatigue with constipation.

Most people do not know the dietary fibre content of foods...

-Only 2% of participants correctly named a pear as having the highest dietary fibre content out of a choice of a weetabix, a bowl of porridge, a slice of wholemeal bread, an orange or a pear.

Food can move through the digestive system within 24-36 hours, however, in the UK, the average is approximately 50-60 hours. The government recommends that we eat 18g of dietary fibre a day to help this process, but the average UK diet contains only around 12g of dietary fibre. As these results highlight, this may be due to the fact that many people are not actually aware of the dietary fibre content of the foods they are eating, and lack of fibre is one of the major causes of constipation.

You are not alone!

Around half of all people suffer constipation at sometime in their lives. Although this may in part be due to our busy lifestyles - snatching meals when we can - constipation is not only associated with a lack of fibre but is also more likely if we are:

-Women as women are significantly more likely to experience constipation than men due to periods of hormonal change eg. Menstruation, pregnancy

-Low in fluids

-Short on exercise

-Changing our routine eg on holiday

And, it's not just your digestive system that is affected by constipation

Anyone who has experienced constipation will know only too well the abdominal discomfort and bloated feeling that often results. However, constipation can also be associated with other unexpected symptoms such as fatigue, skin complaints, backache, headaches and pain during sex. Constipation can also cause psychological symptoms not associated with the digestive tract. These include irritability and feeling 'down in the dumps'.

Taking control of your digestive fitness

In the long-term, changing your diet may help to prevent the problem re-occurring, but often relief from constipation is needed straight away. If this is the case, an over-the-counter treatment such as Senokot may help. Made from the natural senna plant, Senokot provides predictable overnight relief from constipation. It works in harmony with the body, gently stimulating the natural process by which food moves through the digestive tract. Senokot works in a similar way to foods such as prunes and rhubarb, but you would have to eat 12 prunes to get the same effect. Senokot contains natural senna.

For those that suffer regularly from constipation, another over-the-counter treatment, Fybogel provides an easy way to increase daily fibre intake and put you back on track. Fybogel contains a concentrated source of natural fibre - isphagula husk. One sachet twice daily provides nearly 40% of the recommended daily dietary fibre intake, which is equivalent to about four to five bananas. Always read the label.

For further information on digestive health or for a copy of the Digestive Fitness Guide, contact the Digestive Fitness Information Bureau on +44 (0)20 7761 1796 or visit

SOURCE Digestive Fitness Information Bureau

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