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Before we dive into this extremely exciting topic, I would like to restate that I am in no way a doctor and will not state that following my instructions will in fact completely heal you from all health complications. I am writing from my own long time journey with chronic constipation an, from research for the magic formula and drew my own conclusions from all of that. I love sharing what I come across and this blog is a handy tool to help me reach to people from different parts of the globe. Therefore, if you are experiencing something difficult to be managed naturally I urge you to consult with a physician who could fix the issue. My blog and focus is healing the body’s needs naturally and more subtle approaches. It may not necessarily work at all times and it is at that point where I usually visit a doctor and my personal physician is always impressed by the amount of knowledge I have. Its like doing your homework before attending the exam (visiting the doc)  🙂

As discussed in the “Digestion/Digestive system” blog, we will now  look into the topic of “Constipation” .  According to the Mayo Clinic, Constipation is defined ” when you experience difficulty passing stool that persists for several weeks or longer”.

Most people have experienced occasional constipation and its due to the stool hardening over time and this could increase pain when passing the stool and eventually lead to internal harm. Overtime stools becomes hard and in most cases painful to excrete.

CAUSES: 

There are many causes that lead to you being constipated. The stools are parked in the rectum and the longer you don’t pass it out, the harder it turns and slowly into as hard as a rock. The chances of developing chronic constipation increases with age esp after the age of 65 and it is more likely to happen to women than men.

Majority is caused in the following list:

  1. Lifestyle – low amount of  exercises
  2. Diet  – poor nutrition esp fiber intake, low vegetable intake, high intake of dairy products, consuming junk food
  3. Stress – consistent and unmanaged
  4. Prolonged periods of Unmanaged digestive function issues – gut flora is off-balance, bacterial infection of the stomach (Helicobacter pylori), nutrient deficiencies specific for the stomach, thyroid maybe be off-balance and it is primarily responsible for hormone production, leaky gut etc.
  5.  Use of medications – antacids, antidepressants, some blood pressure medications, antihistamines, iron/calcium supplements, narcotic pain medications to just name a few
  6. Dehydration – this means some parts of your intestines are working hard to keep the passageways lubricated

SOLUTIONS AND REMEDIES:

For this segment of the blog I’ve decided to work off the order of solutions in the similar manner to the causes above. It just makes it easier for flow of information and we also are focused on all the causes and solutions in similar order (for memory reasons).

 

  1. Google or Youtube search on internet for “digestive system friendly exercises”. This will gradually help with working on the muscles of the digestive tract and get them working in a different fashion.
  2.   Note: if you are in much pain, I urge you to stop. Consult with your physician and see if there is a reason why your abdomen or the specific spot that is causing you pain. It will help the doctor in navigating further as to why that part of your body is causing you pain
  3. Start with a food diary and make note when your stomach/colon/overall body acts differently
  4. Be extra cautious around dairy, soy, gluten products. A lot of people have noted some form of sensitivity with these namely products. With dairy, a number of people experience bloating/internal gas build-up/constipation/abdominal pain etc. and it most likely because their body is incapable or struggling to digest the sugars (lactose) in the milk
  5. Increase your fluid intake esp water. This will help your body stay hydrated and shut a number of your sugar cravings
  6. Learn to work closely with your body and don’t ignore the slightest symptoms – making notes of reactions, what you ate and pain levels (if any)
  7. Increase your fiber intake. This is crucial because it is one of the engines that makes your digestive tract do its job more smoothly and help you become more regular with passing stool.
  8. Look to increase your “friendly digestive bacteria”. Bifidobacteria is known to lower the pH of the large intestine and maintain a slightly acidic environment. This inhibits the growth of “unfriendly bacteria” in the colon
  9. Incorporating fermented foods in your diet will help you with managing the optimal digestive tract. If you find yourself not reaching the daily limit, consider supplementing to achieve  you daily probiotics and prebiotics dose. To name a few: yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, pickles, apple cider vinegar 
  10. Increase your daily water intake – this one is extremely important as most of our body is made up of water. Shaklee has an amazing water filter that weeds out 99% of all metals/chemicals etc. leaving you with a very light yet forgiving tasting water. It truly has been my favorite water filter and often find myself
  11. Stop ignoring the urge to go and release stool
  12. Get a blood test done to see if you have high levels of  vitamins in your blood esp iron (in case of women) and calcium

**Consult what a physician can do to help you get through your specific body needs to make sure you become or continue to to be more regular with passing your stool. 

Some of the possible complications with prolonged (chronic) constipation with no improvements in bowel movements, per Healthlink BC are:

Hemorrhoids;

Cracks or tears in the rectum;

Weakening of the muscles and ligament that hold the rectum in place and;

Blockage of stool in the large intestine

Rectum bleeding

Aggravation of hernia

Ideally, we shouldn’t immediately head  to the laxative aisle at the grocery stores but instead consider some healthier/natural options that work along with our body’s needs. Depending on your medical requirements (if any) its best to take caution and consult with your physician before taking any endeavors into your own hands as I am not a medical professional by any means and do not suggest that the natural way is a shoe that will fit in everyone’s feet.

Some sources of fiber include to get the gut going in full force:

  1. Apples
  2. Pears (great for smoothies – when they are ripe)
  3. Parsnip
  4. Broccoli
  5. Brussels sprouts
  6. Carrots
  7. Spinach
  8. Whole grains
  9. Quinoa
  10. Legumes including beans
  11. Flax Seeds
  12. Chia Seeds
  13. Prunes
  14. Molasses

Foods to avoid if you are constipated: 

  1. Dairy – cheese, milk, yogurt – these are generally fatty and causes the digestion process to talk a while to break down
  2. Junk foods – includes processed foods
  3. Meat – this might be a hard one for some to give up. Meat contains protein fibres that cause our bodies to put in overtime to digest
  4. Unripe bananas
  5. Fried foods – no brainer
  6. Gluten – this varies between people as some experience constipation symptoms and some are perfectly fine with gluten
  7. Rice/pasta/white potatoes – during the refining process has stripped off all the fibre that was initially in these foods making you more prone to constipation

Coach Hanan Yusuf

Integrated Health,Wellness & Happiness Coach
Enjoy empowering lives and a firm believer in Hope
Website: www.HanansHealthShop.com

References:

  1. http://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/tc/medicines-that-can-cause-constipation-topic-overview
  2. http://fixyourdigestion.com/chronic-constipation/
  3. http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/probiotic-foods/
  4. https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/healthlinkbc-files/constipation-adults
  5. http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/10/31/high-fibre-foods_n_4178239.html
  6. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/constipation/eating-diet-nutrition
  7. http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2015/03/06/foods-cause-constipation_n_6811630.html
  8. https://www.flickr.com/photos/practicalcures/23664421251
  9. http://anaturalremedyforconstipation.com/10-worst-foods-that-cause-constipation.html