Are You Constipated?
Constipation happens when you cannot pass stool easily or not at all. You are considered constipated if you have fewer than three bowel movements a week. If you have lumpy or hard stools, strain to have a bowel movement, feel as if there is a blockage in your rectum, even pressure, and feel as if you are never really empty. Constipation is not only uncomfortable. If left unmanaged, it may cause pain in the lower back, vomiting, fever, nausea, bloating or blood in your stool. Chronic constipation can also lead to other health issues such as hemorrhoids, anal fissures and bowel obstructions. Healthy bowel movements are the body's way of eliminating toxins and waste. If we have infrequent, difficult to pass or incomplete bowel movements, we are not adequately detoxifying the body. This can lead to fatigue, hormonal issues, acne, pain, bloating and inflammation.
Why does constipation occur?
The wave-like contractions and relaxations of muscles that move stool through the bowel are called peristalsis, and diminished peristaltic function can lead to constipation. When stool sits in the colon for an extended period, it re-absorbs too much water, making the stool dry, hard, and difficult to pass. The diminished peristaltic function may occur if your fluid intake is too low. You may not feel dehydrated, but lack of water consumption (1 -2 liters per day) can reduce the fluid in your colon and interrupt the passing of stool.
- Constipation may occur due to a lack of the right types of fibre, which helps to provide bulk to the stool and support the movement of that sticky feces.
- Certain types of medications, such as those that treat the central nervous system, may interrupt the body's signals for evacuation (e.g., some narcotics, antidepressants, codeine).
- Hemorrhoids, which can arise from constipation and pregnancy, may impede the opening to the rectum, making passage more difficult.
- Certain diseases such as cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, IBS, diabetes, hypothyroidism, or Parkinson's disease can also cause constipation
- Insufficient exercise may result in a sluggish colon, and overuse of laxatives, suppositories, or enemas could lead to weakened peristaltic muscle and dependency.
Tips to improve elimination
Healthy digestion is the foundation of a healthy body, and a healthy colon plays a crucial role in your overall digestive health. If you are not having at least one easy-to pass, fully evacuated bowel movement per day, it may be time to examine your bowel habits
- Get enough fluids: Aim for 2-3 litres of fluid per day (water, bone broth, soups, stew, tea, vegetables/fruit)
- Exercise: Regular physical activity can help your intestines contract to stimulate normal bowel movements.
- Eat fermented food or take a probiotic: healthy gut flora is vital for health and regular bowel movements. Chronic constipation is almost always caused by intestinal dysbiosis (an imbalance of good and bad bacteria in the gut).
- Eat foods with Prebiotic fibres: Food for your good bacteria (in fermented food or probiotic). Prebiotics include sweet potato, onions, asparagus, mango, avocado, apricots, turnips, strawberries).
- Take the right kind of fibre - A soluble fibre produces more bulk, which stimulates the intestines to contract and helps speed the passage of stool through the digestive tract.
- Eat more Healthy fat: Omega 3 fish oils, avocado, nuts, nut butter, olive oil, coconut oil, or take Omega supplements
- Medications: Many medications can cause constipation. Check with your pharmacist to see if any of yours could be causing it. See if there are alternatives that won't cause constipation.
- Food sensitivities: try an elimination diet if you suspect food sensitivities. They could cause constipation (or diarrhea in some people).
Manage Constipation with Healthology
It is important to identify and work toward improving the cause of constipation and addressing any underlying functional issues that may be causing your constipation. Even when trying to do all the right things, we sometimes need extra support to have healthy, fully functioning evacuated daily bowel movements. Finding a natural protocol to relieve constipation is an excellent option, and Healthology is a great go-to company for all matters of gut health.
First, commit to drinking more fluids (water and tea) to provide fluid to your colon and get things moving through. Then commit to increasing your fibre intake with fibre that heals the colon rather than putting strain on it.
Fibre is an integral part of a healthy diet. It is what keeps our digestion moving. There are two types of fibre., soluble fibre, which binds with water to create a gel-like substance (think of it like oatmeal), and insoluble, which is the "roughage" portion mainly found in skins and seeds of plants (think of it like celery).
Insoluble fibre's most important role is to promote bowel regularity. It does this by providing bulk to the stool, which keeps waste moving through the digestive tract. Insoluble fibre attracts water into your stool, making it softer and easier to pass with less strain on your bowels.
Soluble fibre dissolves in water and gastrointestinal fluids when it enters the stomach and intestines. It is transformed into a gel-like substance, which is digested by bacteria in the large intestine. Soluble fibre is an excellent source of food to promote good gut bacteria. Because soluble fibre can slow down the rate of digestion, it provides many other health benefits, such as reducing the amount of digested carbohydrates. It absorbs fat and can prevent some dietary cholesterol from breaking down and digested. It may also help lower cholesterol and stabilize blood sugars.
Healthology DAILY FIBRE BLEND provides a healthy boost of fibre that can be easily added to meals and snacks. It contains 3g of fibre per serving, and is non-GMO, Certified Organic, and free from additives.
There may be a time when you want to stick to a soluble fibre supplement instead of a combination of insoluble and soluble fibre. Soluble fibre is an excellent option for people with IBS that produces chronic diarrhea. Soluble fibre is also an excellent choice if you are trying to lower your cholesterol, slow down the digestion of carbohydrates, manage weight, lower cholesterol, reduce heart disease risk, and promote healthy digestion. It does not contain artificial sweeteners, colours, sugars, or additives and is less likely to cause constipation than psyllium-containing formulas that are often recommended.
Healthology SOLUBLE FIBRE BLEND provides 5 grams of soluble fibre from a Certified Organic, non-GMO blend of Baobab and Acacia fibres.
Gut health is the foundation of our overall health. The gut lining selectively absorbs nutrients from the contents passing through the digestive tract, and the rest continues on its way to be excreted from the body. The gut is also the control centre of our immune system. It produces many hormones, including serotonin and dopamine, which impact our mood, sleep, appetite and nervous system. When the gut lining is inflamed, the digestive tract cannot efficiently carry out its normal functions, resulting in symptoms throughout the body.
Healthology GUT-FX is the ultimate formula to heal inflammation and restore your gut health. It provides the building blocks that your body needs to repair the lining of the intestinal tract. It contains herbs to reduce inflammation and soothe digestion and probiotics to support healthy gut flora.
Healthology GUT-FX provides a well-rounded approach to supporting gut health, which improves our ability to absorb nutrients, eliminate toxins, balance the immune system and support neurological hormones.
Although we should strive to identify and fix constipation's cause(s), we may occasionally need additional support to keep our bowels moving regularly. Healthology GO-LAX gently and effectively relieves occasional constipation by stimulating the colon's natural peristaltic action and drawing water into the bowel to soften stool, making it easier to pass. GO-LAX gently activates pelvic nerves and motility receptors in the colon to enhance peristalsis and promote bowel motility. It also soothes and heals the digestive tract to improve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), including reductions in pain and straining and improved stool consistency and frequency.
GO-LAX does not contain purgative herbs like senna and cascara sagrada, which can cause cramping, pain and are more likely to cause laxative dependence. It can be taken every few days when things get sluggish or once or twice a week for colon maintenance.