Stop These Common Constipation Blunders Now

Constipation is a common issue that affects many people at some point in their life. It is usually defined as having a bowel movement less than once daily. Constipation can cause the stool to become harder and drier, making it painful to pass and leading to the impaction of fecal matter. If left untreated, it can result in complications such as megacolon, hemorrhoids, anal fissures, or rectal prolapse.

Moreover, stool contains chemicals that were just previously detoxified by the liver and excreted with bile, intended to be eliminated from the body. The longer the stool sits in the colon, the more likely it is that these unwanted chemicals will be reabsorbed into the body through a process called enterohepatic circulation.

What Factors Contribute to Slow Stool Transit?

Several factors can contribute to constipation, which leads to slow stool transit. Some of these include:

  • A low-fiber diet, causing the stool to become compacted, hard, and larger over time.
  • Medications that can slow intestinal smooth muscle peristalsis (contractions), such as narcotic analgesics, antacids, calcium channel blockers, Parkinson’s disease medications, antispasmodics, iron supplementation, some antidepressants, diuretics, and anti-seizure medications.
  • Overuse of laxatives, which can weaken colon peristalsis over time and worsen constipation if used consistently.
  • Lack of physical activity, leading to decreased parasympathetic impulses for peristalsis.
  • Ignoring bowel movement urges, possibly stretching and weakening the muscles of the colon wall over time.
  • Medical conditions such as low thyroid function, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and other neurological disorders.
  • Intestinal tract problems like celiac disease, tumors, polyps, diverticulosis, and irritable bowel syndrome.
  • Obstetric difficulties in older women with excessive perineal descent from previous pregnancies or pelvic surgery.
  • Environmental toxins such as organochlorine insecticides, heavy metals, and toxins released during bacterial or parasitic infections.

Finding the Cause of Constipation

Often, people report that they cannot find a cause for their constipation and that it developed slowly over many years. In these cases, an undiagnosed low thyroid function might be the problem. Other possibilities include a diet that still lacks sufficient raw food, or adverse effects from chemicals in personal care products, non-prescription medications, or other environmental sources.

Rarely is there a need to undergo colonoscopy in search of bowel disease or tumor, unless the patient’s history and risk factors suggest that the test is necessary.

Safe and Effective Ways to Reverse Constipation

Here are some safe and effective ways to reverse constipation:

  1. Increase Fiber Intake: Increase the amount of fiber in your diet by consuming more whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. This will help to bulk up the stool and make it easier to pass.
  2. Stay Hydrated: Drinking plenty of water not only helps to keep the body properly hydrated but also helps to prevent constipation.
  3. Get Regular Exercise: Physical activity helps to stimulate bowel movements and maintain healthy digestion.
  4. Probiotics: These beneficial bacteria can help maintain a healthy gut environment, aiding in digestion and preventing constipation.
  5. Cut Down on Processed Foods: Processed foods lack nutrients and fiber compared to whole, natural foods. By cutting back on these and eating more whole, fresh foods, your digestive system will function more efficiently.
  6. Over-the-counter Products: Some people find relief from constipation through gentle, over-the-counter treatments such as fiber supplements and stool softeners.

Reducing Toxins That Contribute to Constipation

In addition to addressing lifestyle and dietary factors, it’s crucial to consider the potential impact of environmental toxins on constipation. This can include chemicals found in personal care products, non-prescription medications, and pesticides. Choosing organic food when possible, minimizing exposure to chemical-laden personal care products, and utilizing air purifiers can all help reduce the impact of environmental toxins on your body.

In conclusion, constipation is a common issue that can be caused by many factors, both internal and external. By identifying and addressing these causes, it’s possible to reverse this condition and improve overall health and well-being. Always consult a healthcare professional if your constipation persists or worsens, despite making these lifestyle adjustments.