By Alane Palmer, ND, CNC and Annah Gillette
Constipation can make anyone uncomfortable. There are several reasons constipation can occur, so it is best to monitor what the cause of discomfort is or if it something chronic that needs medical attention. 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 of longer). If you have chronic constipation, you likely know how it can significantly affect the quality of your life.
One reason for constipation can be improving your diet. When you start flooding your body with real nutrition your cells clean house and release the toxic junk, you have been carrying around. Many people feel worse for a few days when adopting a healthy lifestyle and revert to their toxic old ways before the cleanup process completes. Fever, chills, headaches, and constipation or diarrhea can be your body’s way of healing itself. Give your body time to heal.
Adding new fibrous veggies are a great idea to keep your colon clean, but staying hydrated is key! Think about hour household toilet. It requires more than 8oz of fluid to keep things clean and your bathroom smelling nice. Your body also needs enough water to “flush” our the waste your cells create. Being dehydrated creates 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.
Set an alarm to drink 4-8oz of pure water every hour. Coffee, tea, and soda do not count, caffeine has a diuretic effect and can lead to further complications. You wouldn’t water your plants with coffee, and your pets can’t live off of energy drinks. Pure, clean H2O, please! When you get thirsty, you are already dehydrated. If you don’t like the taste of plain water, then drink it fast. 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. 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, yoga, or swimming, can help the digestive system. Exercise also helps you manage stress, which can improve your digestion.
Understanding the health of your gut biome can lead to great strides in your intestinal health. A simple stool test can give you a targeted protocol to improve your gastrointestinal vitality.
Consider ordering one of our Comprehensive Stool Test Kits to learn what is in YOUR gut!
Stool Test Kits: Click Here
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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.