Digestive Issues


Constipation

Constipation is the most common gastrointestinal complaint in the US, and is typically defined as infrequent or incomplete bowel movements.  People who do not have one or more bowel movements per day are likely suffering from this condition.  Healthcare providers are beginning to understand the importance of eliminating two to three times per day as chronic constipation can lead to a variety of health issues.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Bloating
  • Nausea
  • Lower back pain
  • Headache

Common Causes

  • Stress , anxiety, fear, repression
  • Ignoring the need to eliminate (too busy, public phobia, etc)
  • Insufficient water, fiber and/or magnesium intake
  • Overly processed foods and / or fatty foods
  • Pharmaceutical medications
  • Lack of movement and exercise
  • Travel – particularly when crossing time zones
  • Lack of digestive enzymes (hydrochloric acid, pancreatic enzymes, bile salts)
  • Hypothyroidism – depressed thyroid activity (sluggish thyroid = sluggish elimination)

Common Aliments

  • Indigestion (abdominal discomfort)
  • Fatigue
  • Gas and/or bloating
  • Brain fog
  • Obesity
  • Bowel disease (irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disorder, diverticulosis, etc)
  • Hemorrhoids and anal fissures
  • Colon cancer
  • Parasites
  • Ulcerative colitis

If not addressed, chronic constipation can result in having an impacted bowel so severe that colon surgery is recommended. 

Nutritional Approaches

  • Increase dietary fiber intake (Fiber powder)
  • Fiber Food sources:
    • bran, figs, prunes, apricots
    • apples and pears (4 grams per medium size fruit)
    • acorn squash (7 grams in 3/4 cup)
    • brown rice (3.5 grams in 1 cup)
    • oatmeal (3 grams in 3/4 cup)
    • Increase water intake
    • Drink warm/hot water with fresh lemon juice first thing in the morning
  • Supplements:

Mind/Body Approaches

  • Increase physical activity:
    • Yoga
    • Pilates
    • Dancing
    • Walking
  • Colon hydrotherapy
  • Meditation to relieve stress

Goals

  • Establishment of regular elimination habits
  • Reduction of detrimental effects caused by toxins being reabsorbed
  • Restoration of vitality