By Alane Stieglitz, ND, CNC
Constipation relief is not far away. The key is to get to the root cause of the symptoms and fix things. Constipation can make anyone uncomfortable. There are several reasons constipation can occur. And yes! You can find natural constipation relief!
Constipation is defined as passing hard, dry stool or having fewer than three bowel movements a week. One of the most common digestive complaints in the United States, constipation, affects most people at some point in their lives.
Some people experience short-term constipation caused by temporary changes in diet, travel, stress, or surgery, while others have chronic constipation (persisting for several weeks or more prolonged). If you have chronic constipation, you likely know how it can significantly affect the quality of your life.
One reason for constipation is food reactions. Constipation relief can be obtained when the trigger foods are removed, and the body has an easier time breaking food down. For example, I have gluten intolerance and have dealt with IBS symptoms (loose stools and constipation all simultaneously) for years. Once I removed gluten, I had constipation relief and IBS relief.
Another reason for constipation is a sluggish thyroid and metabolism. Most thyroid tests are pretty basic, just looking at TSH is not enough to make sure things are moving along as they should. At our clinic, we run TSH, Free T3, Free T4, and thyroid antibodies. If TSH is higher than 2.0, you may have a sluggish metabolism, and if Free T3 is low, you may be dealing with constipation or weight gain.
Another reason for constipation is a bug in the gut. Sorry but it happens to the nicest people. It is not difficult to find low good bacteria in our gut, high harmful bacteria, yeast overgrowth, or even a parasite. And other times, someone may enjoy constipation relief when they add short-chain fatty acids to their daily protocol, which helps the body produce more good bacteria and adds fiber.
Adding new fibrous veggies is a great idea to keep your colon clean, but staying hydrated is another key for constipation relief. Your body also needs enough water to “flush” out the waste your cells create. Being dehydrated makes a backup of waste in your colon, resulting in painful constipation. Without enough water, your body will draw it out from available sources, causing your fecal matter to become dry and compacted.
I drink half my body weight in ounces in the form of pour water, herbal tea, and green drinks. Coffee, black tea, and soda do not count as caffeine has a diuretic effect and further constipation complications. Pure, clean H2O, please! When you get thirsty, you are already dehydrated. If you don’t like the taste of plain water, then add a little electrolyte powder to it or herbal tea. Your body will thank you for the hydration! You can still have other beverages while increasing your water intake. Don’t rely on your coffee in the morning, soda at lunch, and glass of wine at dinner to meet your hydration needs.
Get Moving. EVEN I GET CONSTIPATED when I sit at my desk all day and do not have time for exercise. Essential for regular bowel movements, exercise stimulates the contraction of the intestinal muscles, speeding the passage of stools. A regular exercise regimen, which may involve a daily walk, squats, biking, taking the dog for a long walk, yoga, or swimming, can help the digestive system. Exercise also helps you manage stress, which can improve your digestion.
Here are some suggestions for constipation relief.
Comprehensive stool test: learn what is in your gut and what your gut health needs to feel good?
Food Intolerance + Gluten Test: So you know what to eat and what not to eat. Food reactions = inflammation = constipation
Comprehensive thyroid test: learn about your metabolism and if it is good or slow.
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Medical disclaimer: Our tests cannot be used to diagnose, treat or cure any disease. All test results are to be used as educational materials and as a guide to help support your overall health and wellness. Always discuss health concerns with your medical doctor.