Constipation Solutions: The Road to Greater Health
Constipation has probably affected every single individual at one point or another. It is an uncomfortable and sometimes painful experience. Defining constipation is difficult as bowel movements vary from person to person. While one person may pass stools every day, it may be normal for another person to go every other day or even less. Broadly speaking, constipation is generally seen as having less than 3 bowel movements a week. However, this may be normal for some people. Straining and pain are commonly present, but need not be with a few simple constipation solutions.
There are many factors that come into play when looking for a cause for constipation. Certain medications and supplements, iron for example, can bring about constipation. A diet low in fiber and fluids can also be a factor. Even decreased exercise and physical activity can contribute to constipation.
If you suffer and need constipation solutions, the good news is there are simple solutions to try out. Start adding foods that are high in fiber to your daily meals. There are 2 types of fiber, soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber helps your body absorb nutrients from food. Insoluble fiber helps add bulk and water to your stools, making it easier for them to pass. Some examples of foods rich in fiber are apples, pears, carrots, quinoa, and brown rice. dried fruits or smoothies are an excellent and enjoyable way to consume fiber. One can even add ground flax seeds to smoothie to get that extra punch of fiber. Prunes are a great source of fiber too. on top of that, they contain sorbitol, a natural laxative. It is recommended that women get at least 20 grams of fiber a day, and men 30 grams. Staying hydrated is very important as well. water helps soften stools, making it easier to pass. It must be noted that consuming lots of fiber without adequate hydration can lead to constipation in itself. So remember to drink lots of water if you are increasing your fiber intake, otherwise you might be making things worse.
Other than watching what goes into your feces, it also important to stay active. Other than the obvious benefits of exercising, exercise also helps to keep the digestive track active. This ensures that whatever you eat will be moving in the right direction for a speedy exit.
Holding your bowel movements is a terrible idea. If you have the urge to go, don’t wait any longer than necessary. Holding your bowels movements allows more time for your gut to suck water out from your stool, making it harder and more difficult to pass.
If you are on any medications, check with your doctor about constipation as a possible side effect of these medications. Constipation is a possible side effect of multiple medications including but not limited to certain antacids, antihistamines, antidepressants, and opioid painkillers. Magnesium supplementation can be a natural alternative to laxatives and is available over the counter. Magnesium acts as a muscle relaxant on your intestines, allowing for a smoother rhythm of peristalsis and easier defecation. Magnesium also attracts water, helping to soften stool and relieve constipation. consult with your physician before taking magnesium as it can have an effect on certain medications and medical conditions.
If you are experiencing severe discomfort and require constipation solutions, and none of these solutions have helped, it is suggested that you visit your doctor as there may be an underlying condition more serious than just constipation.
The gut also plays an important role in stress regulation, its deregulation and imbalance can bring about symptoms of a neuro-affective response. The NeuroEndoMetabolic (NEM) Stress ResponseSM, is inclusive of the neuro-affective circuit, which is comprised of the brain, autonomic nervous system and the gut. The guy is in many ways responsible for complaints of anxiety, depression and insomnia and it is why the gut is sometimes called the second brain. With many of our body’s neurotransmitters being produced in the gut, constipation or inflammation may cause an overreaction from the autonomic nervous system which keeps the body in a fight or flight state indefinitely. Not allowing or giving the body a chance to rest and digest. It is important that the health of the trio of the three systems and organs included in the neuro-affective response are kept in balance and not influenced by chronic stress.
© Copyright 2014 Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.