Bowels that move slow or are difficult to pass are not only uncomfortable, they are unhealthy. It is important we eliminate from our bowels at least once, and up to three times per day. Constipation is an issue affecting up to 20% of the population(1).
When the stool stays in the colon for extending lengths of time, toxins and hormones that have been packaged and processed for elimination are at risk for re-absorption back into the body. Not passing stool frequently enough will lead to a feeling of toxic overload.
What is constipation?
- Irregular bowel movements
- Pass less than 3-5 stools per week.
- Difficulty passing stool.
- Hard stool, requires straining,
- Insufficient, unsatisfactory, incomplete stool
21 Reasons You Might be Constipated
- Diet lacks fibre and vegetables
- Diet too high in proteins and carbs, especially in sugar & starch
- Dairy or wheat sensitivity
- Too much dairy (cheese)
- Other food sensitivities
- Insufficient microflora
- Dysbiosis (overgrowth of the wrong kinds of bacteria in the intestines)
- Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) (root cause may be hypothyroid and migrating motor complex)
- Hypothyroid affecting the migrating motor complex
- Lack of regular daily exercise
- Insufficient water intake
- Supplements such as iron, calcium
- Overuse of laxatives
- Side effects of prescription drugs- painkillers (opioids), anti-depressants
- Irritable bowel syndrome or diseases
- Colon cancer
- Diabetes mellitus
- Nervous system disruption as in spinal cord lesions, MS & Parkinson’s.
Best ways to “get moving” –> relieve your constipation
Laxatives are okay occasionally. Too much use will lead to dependence, which is not how nature intended and don’t fix what’s really happening. Have a look at some of the possibilities of what may cause constipation and see what you can correct. Dr. Laura M. Brown, ND can help you access and interpret many different types of testing.
- Get enough water and get enough soluble and insoluble fibre in the diet.
- Make sure you eat enough vegetables.
- Watch your gluten intake
- Do a food sensitivity test
- Do a comprehensive stool analysis
- Flourish your flora
- Manage your stress
- See if your thyroid is to blame
- Get the full hormone picture
- Test for SIBO
- Look at your iron levels
- Move your body!
- Try acupuncture
- Portalatin M, Winstead N. Medical Management of Constipation. Clinics in Colon and Rectal Surgery. 2012;25(1):12-19. doi:10.1055/s-0032-1301754.