Constipation Happens To Most Everyone
“Constipation occurs when bowel movements become difficult or less frequent. The normal length of time between bowel movements ranges widely from person to person. Some people have bowel movements three times a day; others, only one or two times a week. Going longer than three days without a bowel movement is too long. After three days, the stool or feces become harder and more difficult to pass”. (WebMD 3)
Indications of constipation include:
- Straining during a bowel movement more than 25% of the time
- Hard stools more than 25% of the time
- Incomplete evacuation more than 25% of the time
- Two or fewer bowel movements in a week
What Causes Constipation?
There are many reasons why constipation can occur. Constipation is usually caused by a disorder of the bowel function rather than a structural problem.
Common causes of constipation include:
- Inadequate water intake
- Inadequate fiber in the diet
- A disruption of regular diet or routine; i.e., traveling
- Inadequate activity or exercise or immobility
- Eating large amounts of dairy products
- Resisting the urge to have a bowel movement, which is sometimes the result of pain from hemorrhoids
- Overuse of laxatives (stimulant laxatives such as Senna (Senokot) Epson salts, Dandelion Root and others that, over time, weaken the bowel muscles
- Neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis
- Antacid medicines containing calcium or aluminum
- Medicines (especially strong pain medicines, such as narcotics, antidepressants, or iron pills)
- Eating disorders
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Colon cancer
The vast majority of patients with constipation do not have any obvious illness to explain their symptoms and suffer from one of two problems:
- Colonic Inertia. A condition in which the colon contracts poorly and retains stool
- Obstructed Defecation. A condition in which the person excessively strains to expel stool from the rectum. See Free Stool Test.
If you are experiencing bleeding or dark stools see your doctor. If you are losing weight unnaturally and quickly, see a doctor for test. If you have not been able to make a bowel movement in 5-6 days it is important to stimulate the colon and intestines with natural/organic laxatives if possible. Using them for more than a few weeks can actually create a more serious condition if your bowel movements do not become regular in that time frame.
Usually constipation is a symptom of a broader problem. Poor digestion can cause constipation when the stomach acids are weak. When food enters the stomach, the acids must be at a pH level of 2.5 or below to break down the nutrients and uptake the proteins, minerals, vitamins and fats into the system for a healthy body. Bacteria, fungus, candida in particular, and parasites can create poor elimination and constipation. See bloating gas, thyroid, immune deficiencies, gall bladder that can effect elimination and induce constipation. Even drinking water does not necessarily cure constipation issues. Many times mineral deficiencies create major digestion function and elimination issues. Minerals are necessary for cell hydration so water can penetrate the membrane and proper hydration can support the intestinal tract and elimination. Potassium and Magnesium deficiencies (take the free test) can cause constipation as well as stress, foods and lifestyle.
Foods & Diets That Can Create Constipation:
- Cheese, ice cream, and other dairy products can bind intestinal flow
- Red Meat
- Frozen Foods Products/ Dinners
- Baked Goods/ white flours and pastries
- Fried Foods
- Fast Foods
- Dry foods/ processed or packaged
- Soda and carbonated beverages
- Artificial sweeteners
- Flying /dehydration
- Emotional issues
- Living in high altitude
- Liver toxicity
- Heavy metals
- Environmental toxins
- Adrenal Fatigue
It is important to investigate the causes of your constipation since the intestinal tract plays a major role in supporting the immune functions of the body. When a system begins to get backed up it can lead to more serious or acute dysfunctions within the body systems. Hypothyroid (low production of Iodine) has been known to cause constipation for many people over 55 due to the imbalance within endocrine system. See Thyroid Test.
Our Team offers a sophisticated systematic approach to the investigation and causes of constipation and suggestions on how to correct and rebalance the elimination system for a healthy body/mind.
- Camilleri M., Disorders of Gastrointestinal Motility – Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Cecil Medicine, 24th Ed., Philadelphia, PA – Saunders Elsevier, 2011, Chap 138.
- Lembo AJ, Ullman SP, Constipation – Feldman M, Friedman LS, Sleisenger MH, Eds. Sleisenger & Fordtran’s Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease, 9th Ed, Philadelphia, Pa – Saunders Elsevier, 2010, Chap 18.