No one wants to talk about bowel movements, or admit they have chronic constipation. According to the Canadian Association of Gastroenterology, approximately one million Canadians a year suffer from constipation. Their definition of constipation is approximately 1 bowel movement every 2 to 3 days.
Healthy regular bowel movements are essential to a healthy body. The bowels are like a sewage system. If we don’t cleanse the system of toxins daily, they will enter the blood stream and harm the body. Natural health practitioners believe that the bowel is the foundation of good health and having 2 – 3 bowel movements daily is important in keeping the bowel and the body healthy.
If you suffer from any of the following, you may be constipated:
- dry, hard or lumpy stools
- straining to have a movement
- incomplete evacuation or feeling like you still need to go
- a sense of difficulty in passing a stool
How Does Constipation Create Poor Health?
Constipation slows down the transit time of food. Slow transit time becomes a problem because putrefied toxic material stays in the colon longer, allowing toxins to enter the bloodstream through the intestinal wall. This is called autointoxication and may lead to many different diseases from headaches to autoimmune disorders.
Slow transit time may lead to a build-up of toxic material along the intestinal walls. This reduces the absorption of good nutrients and creates holes in the bowels which leads to a leaky gut. Malabsorption deprives the body of nutrients that are needed for energy and vitality. Many constipated people complain of fatigue and depression.
What Causes Constipation?
- Lack of Exercise
- Medications – anti depressants, pain medications, antacids, diuretics, cholesterol lowering drugs, antibiotics
- Change in Routine – travel, sickness
- Lack of Time – ignoring the urge to go
- C.R.A.P. Food – Coffee, Refined Sugars & Starches, Alcohol, Processed Food
What Can You Do?
- Hydration: The colon must be properly hydrated. Peristalsis is the natural muscular movement of the colon. When functioning normally, peristalsis moves food through the digestive system in less than 24 hours. Drink plenty of water. If extra support is needed, use magnesium hydroxide.
- Bulk: Optimal intake of fibre is essential (30 – 40 grams per day). However, the correct type of fibre is important. You want a combination of soluble and insoluble fibre. Both types are needed to correct constipation. Using a psyllium fibre supplement may lead to more constipation because it is 97% soluble fibre. This means it will absorb all the water in the digestive system creating more constipation. Using a flax base provides a more balanced form of fibre.
- Lubrication: Lubricating the colon is necessary for providing a smooth and gentle elimination. The body uses EFA’s to lubricate the colon. Our body does not make essential fatty acids. They must be obtained through diet (such as raw nuts, seeds, and cold water fish).
If you feel your digestive issues are out of control, I can help. Contact me here: Email Me