Constipation affects 4 million Americans each year. Physicians write more than a million prescriptions for constipation annually, and we spend $725 million a year on laxatives.
Constipation is a disorder that inhibits a person from moving their bowels. Not everyone needs to go every day but if you have chronic difficulty, constipation can be uncomfortable and painful. It often produces a bloated feeling because the bowel distends with gas and a large amount of stool. Some people feel fatigued; have aches and mental sluggishness and still others get headaches. This condition can also lead to other issues such as diverticulitis, colon cancer and hemorrhoids.
The most common cause of constipation is insufficient fiber in the diet but there are many other contributors to this very frustrating problem. People with IBS sometimes have constipation because their colon may not contract properly. Some medications may also cause constipation: iron supplements, antidepressant medication, painkillers and some hypertension medications. People suffering from low thyroid or an excess of calcium in the blood can suffer too. Other disease can also affect our ability to move our bowels: lupus, strokes, diabetes and kidney disease are just a few. Hormones also play a role in digestive regularity. As women go through the various stages of their menstrual cycles their bowel habits change.
Change of lifestyle habits can have a huge affect on your body’s ability to move waste. Change in eating, sleeping or fluid intake amounts can alter the rhythm of the body. Some people have a lazy bowel where the muscles do not effectively contract; this is sometimes caused by an overuse of laxatives.
Many issues are caused by our ignoring our body’s urge to go to the bathroom. Whether we are shy in a public bathroom or don’t have time – the longer the waste remains in the body the more water that is reabsorbed back into the body making the stool, smaller, harder and more difficult to move. So we need to pay attention to our body, when you have to go, stop what you are doing and go to the bathroom.
Bowel transit time is the preferred measure of digestive health. Optimal time is 12 to 24 hours. Slow transit time raises the risk of colon cancer and contributes to other health problems as well as raises toxins in the body.
The way to remedy constipation is determined by the cause. If medication is at fault then dosage and drug type can be altered.
1. Addition of water, fiber, vegetables and fruits are an incredibly simple remedy for this chronic condition.
2. Exercise is also a wonderful addition to a healthy diet along with stress reduction and relaxation therapies. It may take time to retrain your bowels, mostly if you have been putting off the urge to go for a long period of time.
3. The addition of Psyllium fiber is another way to help move things along. Taken in the morning and in the evening with an 8 oz glass of a juice and water mixed will surely speed up the process without the urgency and drama that can be caused by some of the harsh teas and laxatives.
4. Adding probiotics can remedy an imbalance of intestinal flora which also brings relief for constipation or diarrhea.
5. Try magnesium taking this supplement can restore the rhythmic muscle relaxation and contraction. We have a widespread deficiency of magnesium that strongly contributes to the prevalence of constipation.
6. Address lactose intolerance. You may have an issue with dairy. Try to eliminate it from your diet for three weeks and see how you feel. There are many different ways to remedy constipation.
7. Exercise, you move your bowels move.
8. Slow down. You digestion will run much more smoothly if you eat slow and when you feel the urge to go to the bathroom, relax and take your time!
Constipation can be embarrassing, painful and debilitating. In almost every case I have had in my practiced all that is called for is simple changes in lifestyle of food consumption to have a last impact in eliminating constipation.
Please leave a comment below letting me know if your suffer from constipation and what remedies have worked for you in the past.
You Deserve to be Healthy!