It is a horrible feeling when you’re bloated, heavy and uncomfortable. Constipation is a major issue which affects many. Whilst, not a topic people want to talk about, it is an important one.
Constipation is one of our body’s red flags, telling us something is out of balance. To improve your health in the long term it is important to address the underlying cause.
What is Constipation?
– Infrequent bowel motions, e.g. fewer than every 3 days
– Lumpy or hard stools
– The sensation of incomplete emptying of bowels
– Straining and painful defecation
– Bloating feeling
Regular bowel movements are important to ensure we’re removing toxins, waste and excess hormones from our body. When we don’t do this, then all of these substances are reabsorbed back into your bloodstream. They then recirculate around your body causing toxicity and inflammation throughout the body.
Possible underlying causes of constipation:
– Overgrowth of bad bacteria e.g. Candida, SIBO
– Food Intolerances- Poor diet eg low fibre intake
– Stress, depression, and anxiety
– Sedentary lifestyle
– Certain medications such as codeine painkillers
Relieving Constipation Tips:
– Drink more water! I know this sounds very obvious but people still forget the importance of water. The general guidelines are about 33mL/kg of body weight. So, for example, if you weigh 60kg, your water intake should be approximately 2L/day. If you are active you may need to increase this number.
– Exercise. Physical activity helps to encourage peristalsis of the bowels to get things moving.
– Bitters. Consuming bitter foods such as rocket, endive, lemon, and dandelion, help stimulate our digestion.
– Get your fibre right. I recommend about 30 grams per day. Studies show that most of us only eat around half the dietary fibre required for normal bowel habits. Try counting your fibre intake for the day, you may be surprised to realise you’re one of those people.
– Have 1tsp of apple cider vinegar with water 30mins before meals to help stimulate digestion.
– Chew. Sit down and really chew your food – digestion starts in the mouth – again, very important.
– Minimise stress. Find activities that calm your body and mind such as yoga, meditation, colouring, and walking.
– Allow time for bowel movements. Give yourself time. Rushing and straining hard increases the pressure in the blood vessels around your anus which can lead to hemorrhoids.
The key to long-term relief from constipation is to identify the root cause of the constipation. Some investigative tests I may recommend include:
– Extensive Thyroid Profile
– Comprehensive Stool Analysis
– Food Intolerance Test
For more information, contact me directly or get started on your health by booking online!